Thursday, May 26, 2022 |
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LIHU‘E — TeeAnn Michiko Garcia became familiar to Kaua‘i residents after earning the Miss Baby Cakes award at the 2010 Meadow Gold Healthy Baby Contest at the Kaua‘i County Farm Bureau Fair.
But that might not have happened without the help of the community and the March of Dimes, an organization who helps families when a pregnancy is heading toward a premature delivery.
Baby TeeAnn and her mother, Natural-Lee Garcia, the March of Dimes Ambassador Family, were on hand Thursday to welcome team captains and other participants in the launch of the 2012 March for Babies campaign.
Allison Lum, the March coordinator, made the trip from O‘ahu to personally welcome the team captains and participants of the 2012 March which will take place April 14 at the main pavilion at Lydgate Park in Wailua.
Sipping coffee provided by Starbucks at the Kukui Grove Center, Lum and Kaua‘i coordinator Cheryl Ann Farrell were busy discussing the March while enjoying the antics of Baby TeeAnn who toddled among the throng of Starbucks fans.
Registration for the Apr. 14 walk starts at 6:45 a.m. with the walk starting at 8 a.m. with prizes, food, games, and activities for walkers.
Farrell said several of the sponsors will also feature events leading up to the walk, including Longs Drugstore and the Big Kmart who will be offering cards at their registers for people “who want to help in a small way.”
TeeAnn was born prematurely May 18, 2010, at only 28 weeks of pregnancy, weighing in at one pound, 15 ounces, and was in the Neo-natal Intensive Care Unit at the Kapiolani Medical Center for 92 days. A full-term pregnancy is 40 to 42 weeks.
“When I saw the photo of TeeAnn in the NICU 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 in a release.
The March of Dimes on Kaua‘i helps families like the Garcias who had a premature delivery.
Any baby born prematurely can have under-developed lungs which can lead to respiratory problems, shallow breathing and pneumonia, states the March of Dimes release. Other complications such as blood infections, digestive distress and other health issues make it difficult for the smallest keiki to survive.
The March of Dimes has been helping babies for 42 years and with continued research, equipment and volunteer support, mothers like Natural-Lee and babies like TeeAnn are able to benefit from the support and medical advances the March of Dimes provides.
People interested in registering for the walk can visit www.marchforbabies.org or call Lum at (415) 368-3251 for more information.
The March for Babies is sponsored nationally by Kmart, Macy’s, Farmers Insurance Group, CIGNA, Famous Footwear, FedEx, Sanofi Pasteur, United Airlines, First Response and Mission Pharmacal.
Local sponsors include Long’s Drugstore, Kaua‘i Family Magazine, Fun-n-Kwazy (Rides) and the latest sponsor, Hawaiian Tug and Barge Young Brothers.
• Dennis Fujimoto, photographer and staff writer, can be reached at 245-3681 (ext. 253) or dfujimoto@ thegardenisland.com.
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