march for babies blog
Are you registered yet? March for Babies events take place in hundreds of cities and towns across the country, so there’s sure to be a site near you. To find one, visit the homepage of marchforbabies.org and scroll down to the box that says, “Find a local event.” Just enter your ZIP code, and you’ll get a list of events in your area. Join your family, neighbors and co-workers for a great cause: helping babies get a healthy start in life. When you raise $1,000 or more, you’ll become a member of our Circle of Champions and earn some great incentive gifts.
Whether you walk on your own, with a few friends or family members, or a large company team, you can feel great about raising money for research and programs that help moms have full-term pregnancies and healthy babies.
Everything you need to get started is right here at marchforbabies.org. Join us!
Get ready to MARCH!
It’s the exciting countdown to March for Babies! Our hearts are full, our spirits are high and our will is stronger than ever to march on to help ALL babies. Grab your t-shirts and sneakers and check out these last-minute reminders:
Reach out again to potential donors – send one of our new eCards! Or post on Facebook and make sure to include the link to your personal fundraising page to make it even easier. They will receive a thank-you and tax receipt.
If you raised money online, print your personalized sponsor form from your personal page and bring it to your walk, along with your cash and checks.
If you raised all your money offline, download and fill out a blank sponsor form to record your fundraising efforts.
Contact your local March of Dimes chapter if you have any last-minute questions.
This will be a day like no other.
A day when we stand together in the fight to help babies have the healthiest start possible!
Ready… set… MARCH ON!
When we think about March for Babies and returning year after year, one of the big questions we are all asked is “Why I Walk” Today we have a guest post from Samantha, who shares her story and reasons for walking in March for Babies.
Why I walk
I walk because I was born premature in 1983 due to an ABO blood incompatibility. My Jaundice levels were 0.5 from being considered brain damaged.
I walk because my son, Jadon, arrived at 34 1/2 weeks, needing assistance to breathe, and still struggles with respiratory issues. He was on a cpap and received surfactant treatments to help improve his lungs. Nine year later the impact of missing those 5 1/2 weeks are seen through his asthma and breathing issues.
I walk because my daughter will never will. In 2006, I gave birth to a beautiful baby girl at 25 weeks. My sweet Trinity, born at 11.4 oz and 10 inch, was just too small and passed away shortly after birth.
I walk because, after Jadon arrived early and we said goodbye to our daughter, I needed answers. I searched for answers. I searched for place where I felt people got it. I found the March Of Dimes. I found answers to some of the many questions I had and through the March Of Dimes I found Share Your Story. WOW! Share Your Story became my saving grace. It put me in contact with those who were dealing with preemies with breathing issues, ER trips, specialists, and hospital stays similar to Jadon. It put me in contact with people who share the pain of saying goodbye way to soon, like I had with Trinity. It gave me faith in myself as a mom again. Helped me through the dark scary days and cheered me on on my good days.
I walk because in 2011 I got pregnant again and was terrified. We said goodbye to that pregnancy two days after Christmas at just 6 weeks.
I walk because in 2012 we got the news that we had one more chance. Again I turned to the March of Dimes for information on 17-p shots, progesterone, and many other things. Again I relied on Share Your Story for the emotional support that comes along with a pregnancy after so many bumps in the road! In Sept 2012 we welcomed our son, Jaxson, into the world 8 weeks premature due to being in distress. The NICU once again became our home. We were blessed to bring him home 16 days later thanks to the surfactant treatments he received.
I walk because my boys’ stories show how far the March of Dimes has come. But my daughters story shows how much work we still need to do. I walk for every mom that will have a baby that arrives early and turns to the internet searching for information and understanding. I couldn’t imagine where I would be If I hadn’t came across the March of Dimes and Share Your Story websites.
I walk so one day all babies are born full term and healthy… won’t you walk with me?
How much fun does this look?
March of Dimes National Ambassador Aidan Lamothe got to spend some pre-race time with Jason Witten and Denny Hamlin yesterday. Make sure to follow Aidan Lamothe on Facebook to keep up to date on all his adventures!
Raise $200+ to get the official March for Babies “Go Baby Go” t-shirt seen here with our March for Babies Celebrity Ambassador and mom Hilary Duff! This t-shirt was designed by a military mom with a connection to the March of Dimes mission. It’s not for sale, so you’ve got to fundraise to get it! Need help? We’ve got lots of resources – check our blog often for tips!
Haven’t registered yet? It’s not too late to get started! Visit our homepage and type in your zip code to pull up walks near you – including dates, locations, and times!
Have you registered for March for Babies? If you have, you’re one step ahead of everyone else! But you may be thinking – what do I do know? Sometimes the prospect of fundraising all on your own can be a little daunting – that’s where team support comes in!
The first step after starting your team is to get your family and friends to register too! Knowing you’re in it together, having the community to bounce ideas off of, and having a support system as you fundraise is key!
It might take a couple of reminders, but before you know it your family and friends will be part of your team. Once they’ve registered it’s easy to keep in touch on fundraising and see how you’re meeting your goals. So don’t delay – register today and remind your family and friends to join you!
March for Babies is a community event for everyone! Get started now!
I had the pleasure of meeting our National Ambassador, and she is awesome! Nina Centofanti was born 9 weeks early and weighed just 2 lbs., 15 oz. Now she’s 8 and traveling the country with her family to encourage everyone to get involved in March for Babies. She stopped by my desk with her big brother and little sis to give me an autographed card with her picture and story on it. Nina was full of smiles and enthusiasm.
Her mom, Chris, is our guest blogger:
Hi everyone, it’s Chris Centofanti.
As you might know, my daughter, Nina, came into the world 9 weeks early and weighed less than 3 pounds. I’d worked as a nurse in the NICU for 14 years and had seen this experience a million times. But nothing prepared me for the moment I saw my own tiny, tiny baby. I felt so guilty for not being able to bring her to term and be delivered safely. And I worried about so many things…her lungs, her brain, infection. I’ve seen lots of babies die.
There’s no doubt that we are among the lucky families. Nina is completely healthy and astounds us every day. We never forget the fact that, were it not for decades of March of Dimes research, her story could have been very different.
Nina is a perfect example of what the March of Dimes has accomplished. It’s truly a gift for me to be able to share our story and be an advocate for premature babies. I’m grateful, humbled and honored to participate in March for Babies, and I hope you’ll register and start fundraising. It’s so important to support the work of the March of Dimes and help every baby be born healthy and as close to term as possible.
Please don’t forget to sign up and donate to March for Babies!
We need to help babies everywhere!
Thank you, and take care,
United is the official airline sponsor of the National Ambassador program.
Bill Fitzgerald, Vice President and General Manager of Commercial Engines at GE Aviation and National Chairman of the 2013 March for Babies (right), March of Dimes President, Dr. Jennifer L. Howse (left), and 8-year-old Nina Centofanti, the foundation’s 2013 National Ambassador (middle), ring The Closing Bell at NYSE to kick off the 2013 March for Babies. About 20,000 companies and 7 million people will participate in March for Babies with a goal of raising $109 million. The walk takes place in most communities the last weekend of April. To join a March for Babies event near you, visit marchforbabies.org.
Chris and Vince Centofanti thought they knew all about preterm birth. She was a neonatal nurse-practitioner caring for critically ill babies, and he worked for GE Healthcare’s Maternal-Infant Care division, providing specialized medical equipment to hospitals.
But then their own baby, Nina, was born nine weeks early, weighing less than three pounds. She suffered from respiratory distress and spent her first five weeks fighting for life in a newborn intensive care unit (NICU).
“I can’t tell you how difficult it was, seeing our own little girl lying in the NICU, fighting for life. All our hopes and dreams for her hung in the balance,” says Chris Centofanti. “As a nurse-practitioner I’ve seen many other parents in this situation, and now I know exactly how they feel.”
“I never expected that my own daughter would have to be cared for in a NICU with the equipment I had provided to the hospital,” says Vince Centofanti.
Chris adds, “Thanks to the care that Nina received, and the support of the March of Dimes for research and treatment, now we also know the relief and joy parents feel when their child survives and becomes healthy enough to leave the NICU and go home.”
Today Nina Centofanti has grown into an active 7-year-old who loves to dance, climb trees and turn handsprings. She has been named the March of Dimes 2013 National Ambassador.
As ambassador, Nina and her family will travel the United States visiting public officials and corporate sponsors, and encouraging people to participate in the March of Dimes’ largest fundraiser, March for Babies. The money raised supports community programs that help moms have healthy, full term pregnancies, and funds research to find answers to the problems that threaten babies’ lives.
“Serving as the National Ambassador family is a way for us to show our appreciation for our children’s good health, and serve as advocates for lifesaving March of Dimes programs,” says Vince. “The March of Dimes has provided 75 years of support for research, treatments, educational and prenatal care programs that has saved lives, reduced the suffering, and improved the quality of life for countless children and the parents who love them. My daughter Nina is one of their success stories; a perfect example of what March of Dimes efforts have accomplished.”
Nearly half a million babies in the U.S. are born too soon each year. Babies who survive an early birth often have breathing problems, cerebral palsy, intellectual disabilities, and other lifelong problems. Even babies born just a few weeks early have higher rates of hospitalization and illness than full-term infants.
The Centofantis have been dedicated March of Dimes volunteers for several years. In 2012, Vince joined more than 1000 colleagues at GE in Cincinnati to raise more than $240,000 for their March for Babies campaign.
“Even though Chris and I had experience in the NICU and working with the March of Dimes, nothing could have prepared us for having our own preemie,” Vince says.
While pregnant with Nina, Chris felt unwell at 31 weeks and went to the hospital. She was diagnosed with HELLP Syndrome, a form of high blood pressure with elevated liver enzymes and a low blood platelet count. It is a rare, but potentially life-threatening illness that typically occurs late in pregnancy. The only treatment is to deliver the baby as soon as possible.
For the next 48 hours, Chris was treated with steroids to help develop baby Nina’s lungs before birth. At birth, Nina was immediately transferred to the NICU, where she spent the next five weeks.
In addition, the Centofantis have an older son Nick, and a second daughter, Mia, who was born at 35 weeks of pregnancy, thanks in part to weekly progesterone treatments which reduced the risk of Chris going into premature labor.
Thanks to United Airlines, official airline sponsor of the National Ambassador program, Nina and her family will travel the United States visiting public officials and corporate sponsors, and encouraging people to participate in the March of Dimes’ largest fundraiser, March for Babies. The money raised supports community programs that help moms have healthy, full term pregnancies, and funds research to find answers to the problems that threaten babies’ lives.
United Airlines is the official airline sponsor of the March of Dimes National Ambassador Program for the 8th consecutive year, and a National Sponsor of March of Dimes March for Babies. With an employee base of 85,000 strong, United is committed to making the communities it serves a priority, and is helping the March of Dimes reach hundreds of thousands of families with important information about having healthy pregnancies and healthy babies.