The Meadows Family lost their baby girl 20 weeks premature. They have been selected as the 2017 March of Dimes Toledo Ambassador Family to give them the opportunity to share their story.
In 2013, Beth and Tony were excited about becoming parents and looking forward to their second child. But their baby Kiera Ann arrived unexpectedly at only 20 weeks, silent. Due to the stress of labor and the extreme premature birth, Kiera Ann passed away.
“We may never know why Keira was born too soon, but we will never stop walking in her memory” said Beth, Kiera Ann’s mom. “We believe in the work and research the March of Dimes has been doing for babies and families for 79 years. The March of Dimes is bringing us closer to the day when every baby is born healthy and strong.”
Like Keira Ann, many babies do not make it due to unknown causes and nearly 400,000 babies – or one in 10 — are born too soon in the United States each year. Premature birth (before 37 weeks of pregnancy) is the leading cause of death of babies in the U.S. Those who survive an early birth often face serious and lifelong health problems, including breathing problems, jaundice, vision loss, cerebral palsy and intellectual delays. In addition to the human toll, premature birth accounts for more than $26 billion annually in medical and societal costs.
“The money raised by March for Babies helps give more babies a fighting chance at a healthy start in life,” said Sara Hegarty, Executive Director, March of Dimes Toledo Market. “The March of Dimes is committed to providing comfort and information to families such the Meadows Family. By joining March for Babies, you also help fund cutting-edge research to find answers to the unknown causes of premature birth, and new ways to prevent and treat it.”
March for Babies takes place in 500 communities across the country and involves more than three million people each year. In Toledo, March for Babies will take place on Sunday at 10 a.m. at Owens Community College.
Register for the event by visiting marchforbabies.org/event/Toledo to sign up to walk; start a team with your company, family, or friends; or donate to help babies survive and thrive.