Tags: Health, In This Issue, Local, March of Dimes
March of Dimes
Our country's premature birth rate has risen by 36 percent over the last 25 years. That's serious cause for concern. The story of Beth and Jon Neuman, and their son Nathan, illustrates just how fragile life can be for babies born too soon. Nathan has an older brother named Floyd who was born full term, but Nathan came into this world with some great challenges ahead of him. Because of the love of their family, the dedicated care of clinical professionals and the steadfast work of March of Dimes for the last 75 years, the Neumans were able to bring Nathan home.
In the words of Beth Neuman, "When Nathan was born he weighed in at 1 pound and 5 ounces and was 12 inches long. The doctors and nurses called him a micro preemie and some even called him a million dollar baby. He was born preterm at 26 weeks. Nathan had to live in an incubator in a hospital for the first 3 months; we couldn't hold him, or kiss him."
"Thanks to the research of March of Dimes, Nathan had a chance to have his lungs develop before he was delivered. March of Dimes also funded research to develop surfactant therapy, given to premature babies so they can take their first breath. When the lungs are not mature they have a fluid that keeps them from inflating. I am one of the lucky moms! My preemie baby had a thirty percent chance of survival. Now that same boy has grown up to be eleven years old, turning twelve on October 24th. He loves to read, do gymnastics and play video games. He is one of the fortunate babies that are born premature. We are very excited to serve as an ambassador family for March of Dimes at their 75th Anniversary Signature Chefs Auction in Indianapolis, a night that we hope will help greatly in raising funds for continued research and education for moms and babies."
The rising incidence of premature birth has demanded action, and the March of Dimes responded by initiating an intensive, multi-year campaign to raise awareness and find the causes of prematurity, beginning in 2003. They're funding lifesaving research, spreading prenatal education and speaking out for legislation that improves care for moms and babies. Visit www.marchofdimes.com to find vital information about pregnancy or to find out how you can fund the mission.