April 6, 2014

March of Dimes still needs help from community

The Daily Citizen

— You may not actually hear the sound of marching feet, but very soon there will be dozens, even hundreds, of local citizens joining thousands across the country marching in the name of health.

Specifically, the health of babies and mothers.

On Saturday, April 26, at 9 a.m. at Dalton State College, the annual March of Dimes March for Babies walk will commence. Our local walk is referred to as the NW 5 Star March, since it includes residents from the five counties of Whitfield, Murray, Dade, Walker and Catoosa.

The March of Dimes Foundation has evolved over the years since its inception in 1938, when it was backed by then-President Franklin D. Roosevelt and its primary focus was to fight polio. FDR was a victim of that debilitating disease.

The foundation’s efforts helped pave the way for development and approval of the Salk vaccine in 1955, which has ensured that polio no longer plagues this nation.

Since then the foundation has reinvented itself and is now focused on identifying and fighting birth defects as well as educating new mothers on proper prenatal care. And along the way, the March of Dimes also popularized walk-a-thons as a major fundraising tool when it started Walk America in 1970.

Among those who are aware of how MOD-funded research has affected lives are the Patrick and Kelly Jones family, who were chosen as the 2014 Ambassador Family for our area and the subject of a compelling story on today’s front page.

If it weren’t for tests and procedures promoted by the March of Dimes, one of the couple’s sons, Colton, would not alive and his twin, Walker, may not be as healthy as he is today.

The parents know that funds raised by March for Babies goes for vital research to help prevent premature birth and birth defects. Funds raised also support community programs that help moms have full-term pregnancies.

Which is why they, and we, are encouraging individuals and teams to get involved, get signed up and get walking to raise more money.