March for Babies set for Saturday at Lydgate

LIHU‘E — Saturday has been designated as March of Dimes March for Babies Day by Mayor Bernard Carvalho Jr.

The Kaua‘i March for Babies takes place at Lydgate Park’s main pavilion. Registration begins at 6:45 a.m., and the walk starts at 8 a.m.

Individuals and teams can join by visiting www.marchforbabies.org or calling Allison Lum at (415) 368-3251. Lum, the event coordinator, hopes everyone will come out and support an event that helps Kaua‘i’s keiki.

During the proclamation presentation by Kaua‘i County Managing Director Gary Heu, representing Carvalho, he said one of eight babies in the United States and one of seven babies in Hawai‘i are born prematurely — almost half from unknown causes.

The incidence of premature birth, which is the leading cause of infant death, has increased 29 percent since 1981, states the proclamation.

TeeAnn Michiko Garcia, born prematurely at 28 weeks to Sheldon and Natural-Lee Garcia on May 18, 2010, weighed in at 1 pound, 15 ounces and was in the Neo-natal Intensive Care Unit at Kapiolani Medical Center for 92 days. A full pregnancy is 40 to 42 weeks.

Today, she is a healthy 20 months old and represents the Kaua‘i March for Babies as the 2012 Ambassador.

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

The March of Dimes has been promoting the health and well-being of America’s children for 71 years through research, education, community services and advocacy.

Because premature birth is a common, serious and costly problem, the March of Dimes has made research a top priority as to why premature births happen and what can be done to prevent them.

Visit www.marchforbabies.org, or call Lum at (415) 368-3251 for more information.

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