We're getting ready to walk in March for Babies! It promises to be a fun day out with people who share our passion for improving the health of babies. There'll be family teams, company teams and people walking with friends - it's a great feeling knowing we're all helping real families. Join our event and walk with us to raise money for babies right here in our community!
The festival site for this year's event will be at The Mildred Westervelt Warner Transportation Museum. The walk will be approximately 2 miles along the beautiful Tuscaloosa Riverwalk. We walk to give EVERY BABY a fighting chance. Thanks to all our walkers, donors and volunteers who have accepted the challenge to help fight premature birth, birth defects and infant loss. We cannot achieve our mission without each one of you! The 2017 March for Babies will highlight the strength of families affected by premature birth, birth defects and the loss of a child, celebrate the strides we’ve made towards accomplishing our mission and applaud the fundraising efforts of our donors.
On Sunday, April 9, 2017, nearly 500 individuals will come together at the Transportation Museum and Tuscaloosa Riverwalk to support the March of Dimes. Our goal is to raise a total of $130,000 for a healthier future for babies. Festival Area & Donation turn-in opens 12:30 p.m. – Stage programming starts 1:00 p.m. – 2.2 mile walk begins 1:30 p.m. – Festival activities and award announcements continue until close at 4:00 p.m.
We will also have a Superhero Sprint this year for all of our amazing kids! The Superhero Sprint is a kids “fun run” that will be implemented at all March for Babies walk sites, and puts the March of Dimes “mission in motion." For the suggested donation of $20 per child or $30 for the family, all kids receive a cape (while supplies last), and the opportunity to run in the Superhero Sprint (sponsored by Publix)!
For more information on how you can get involved, click HERE
It is with great pride and pleasure that our family was selected to serve as the March of Dimes 2017 Tuscaloosa Area March for Babies Ambassador Family. March for Babies is the March of Dimes’ largest signature annual fundraising event and an unforgettable way to support the March of Dimes. We raise funds and walk to recognize our prematurely-born daughter, Madelyn, and below is our story. In the summer of 2015 we decided that we were ready to expand our family. We were pleasantly surprised to find out in September that we were pregnant. We found out very early in the pregnancy and anxiously awaited our first appointment to hear our baby’s heartbeat. Our lives went along as usual. I went to work teaching and worked on my master’s degree while Jerad worked as a geologist in and out of town. We were so excited to tell our families and friends. After our first ultrasound at 8 weeks, we told our families and friends the good news. Everything was looking great with the baby’s heartrate in the 140s. After the 12-week ultrasound we announced we were expecting to the world. 'Baby Tate' was growing, had a healthy heartbeat, and was right on track. We were ecstatic and couldn’t wait to welcome him or her into our family at the beginning of June 2016. As the weeks passed, my baby bump became more and more pronounced. We found out we were expecting a little girl in December and the nursery decorating kicked off. Life was moving along, and so was the pregnancy. Every checkup we had we heard that Madelyn was measuring right on track, her heartrate was excellent, and her anatomy looked fabulous. Up until I was hospitalized I was having a great pregnancy and could not complain one bit. On Valentine’s Day I noticed that something was off. I figured I was just being a worry wart but thought I should call the on-call doctor just to be sure. After all, at my appointment on February 11, everything seemed fine. The on-call doctor told me to take it easy and rest but that if I still felt something was wrong to come in. After about an hour I decided we needed to go in and have everything checked. I was scared that I was either being silly or something was wrong. My worst fears were confirmed when the doctor told me that I was in labor. I was only 24 weeks and 3 days. How could this be happening? I was given two steroid shots to help Madelyn’s lungs develop, magnesium and Indocin to help stop the contractions, and hooked up to the fetal monitor to monitor Madelyn’s heart rate. It seemed like it was working! I was sent out to a postpartum room after 2 days only to return to labor and deliver that night. I stayed on bedrest for a total of 4 days. Finally, on February 18, 2016 my water broke. I was just 25 weeks pregnant. Madelyn was born less than an hour later weighing just 1 lb. 9 oz. She was only 14 ½ inches long. Once Madelyn arrived, she was given life-saving surfactant (developed by funding from the March of Dimes) to help her tiny lungs breathe. Madelyn was intubated for a month and she required regular ventilation until the end of March. On May 2, she was taken off oxygen completely. During her time in the NICU, Madelyn experienced brain bleeds, retinopathy of prematurity (ROP), multiple blood transfusions, and various other medical conditions. She (and we) spent a total of 114 days in neonatal intensive care. Those days in the NICU seemed to fly by but also take so long to pass. We learned that our girl was a fighter through and through (no matter her size). We were finally able to take Madelyn home on June 11, 2016. Just a week and a few days after her due date. She weighed 7 lbs 14 oz. Madelyn did not require oxygen when she came home and was only on a few medicines. She is now a happy and healthy baby that is developing nicely. We are so thankful for the care and treatment from the NICU staff and the March of Dimes for research that helped save our little girl. We are proud supporters of the March of Dimes and their efforts to give every baby a fighting chance at life.
Kortney, Jerad and Madelyn