Team Hallie & Olivia will be proudly walking in the 2010 March for Babies.
As everyone who has been following this blog knows, our daughters, Hallie and Olivia, were born at 23 weeks and 4 days, on June 11, 2006. Olivia lost her struggle when she was 18 days old; Hallie was hospitalized for four months and, while not free of the consequences of prematurity, she is now a happy, active, and vibrant 3.5 year old. The research sponsored by the March of Dimes into surfactant -- a sticky substance that inflates the lungs of babies -- helped give our girls a fighting chance.
Research into preventing prematurity, including 17P (17 alpha-hydroxyprogesterone), helped Sharon carry Lea to term. The March of Dimes helped get 17P approved by the FDA and getting insurance companies to cover this therapy, which prevents 10,000 premature births a year.
The March of Dimes is engaging in more efforts to support families of babies who are in the NICU or who have 'graduated' from neonatal intensive care units. We know how trying it is to have a baby who is hospitalized long term. And we also know how much support families need in dealing with the consequences of prematurity once they have left the NICU: many, like Hallie, have problems that persist throughout their lives.
We hope that the research that the March of Dimes is doing will prevent quite so many babies from being born so early and will assist the parents of preemies navigate the roller coaster ride that results from their babies' early birth.
We hope that you can join us for this year's March for Babies on April 25, 2010 or that you will sponsor our family team.
Thank you for helping us give all babies a healthy start!
To make a donation, visit my personal Web page here or click on the Team Hallie and Olivia widget off to the right.
And for those of you who have already contributed to our effort to support the March of Dimes: Thank you from the bottom of our hearts!
And please remember that any amount will help; every five or ten dollars will help March of Dimes prevent prematurity and invest in research that will improve the outcomes of babies like Hallie and Olivia who were born way too early.