Wanted: March for Babies team captains

A $5 Starbucks gift card is waiting for anyone who wants to start a team or is already registered for the March for Babies walk in April.

The March for Babies walk team captain kickoff will take place from 7 to 9 a.m. Feb. 16 outside the Starbucks coffee shop at Kukui Grove Center in Lihu‘e.

During that time, team captains can pick up a team captain’s packet, meet the “ambassador family and receive a $5 Starbucks gift card.

Allison Lum, the event coordinator for the March of Dimes, will be on hand to assist with the registration process, as well as answer questions about the walk scheduled for April 14.

“I’m really excited to be part of this walk,” Lum said in a March of Dimes news release, citing the help provided for Kaua‘i’s TeeAnn Michiko Garcia.

TeeAnn was born prematurely in 2010 to Sheldon and Natural-Lee Garcia. Born after only 28 weeks of pregnancy, weighing 1 pound, 15 ounces, the baby was in the intensive care unit at Kapiolani Medical Center for 92 days.

TeeAnn, now a healthy 20 months old, and her mom will be on hand for the March for Babies team captain kickoff in Lihu‘e.

“When I saw the photo of TeeAnn Michiko Garcia in the neo-natal Intensive Care Unit with her arm so small, her dad’s wedding ring fit over her arm, I just knew this was such a worthwhile event,” Lum said.

The March for Babies walk starts at 8 a.m. April 14 at the main pavilion at Lydgate park. Registration begins at 6:45 a.m.

“We’ll have prizes, food, games and more for all our walkers and, of course, we’ll be raising money to help families just like the Garcias,” Lum said.

“We hope everyone will come out and support this event, which helps Kaua‘i’s keiki.”

The March of Dimes on Kaua‘i helps local families like the Garcias when a pregnancy is headed to a premature delivery, the news release stated.

A full-term pregnancy is 40-42 weeks. Any baby born prematurely can have under-developed lungs which can lead to respiratory problems, shallow breathing and pneumonia. Other complications include blood infections and digestive distress.

Registration for the March for Babies walk can be done online at www.marchforbabies.org.

The March for Babies is sponsored nationally by Kmart, Farmers Insurance Group, CIGNA, Famous Footwear, FedEx, Sanofi Pasteur, United Airlines, First Response and Mission Pharmacal.

Locally, Longs Drugstore, Kaua‘i Family magazine and Fun-n-Kwazy are among the sponsors.

Call (415) 368-3251 or email alum@marchofdimes.com for more information.

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