March madness for families

LIHUE — The March of Dimes, including the branch on Kauai, helps families when a pregnancy is headed to a premature delivery.

Stephanie Shinno and her children are one of those families.

Shinno, a single mother to three, was announced as Kauai’s Ambassador Family for 2016. Her son Syler was born nearly six weeks earlier than expected and weighed nearly five pounds.

Because of the early delivery, Stephanie and Syler spent a week at Kapi‘olani Medical Center for Women and Children where he received special therapy to help with his breathing. The treatment helped him breathe on his own, and he is looking forward to his 9th birthday in April.

The March for Babies is the March of Dimes’ signature fundraiser and is the nation’s original and favorite walking event for 46 years. The goal for Hawaii’s March for Babies is $800,000 and 4,000 walkers. Last year, Hawaii March for Babies saw more than 3,500 walkers hit the road and raise $783,000.

The Kauai March for Babies is scheduled May 7 at Lydgate Park and includes a walk of up to three miles. There will be prizes, food, games, and more for walkers.

“Of course, we’ll be raising money to help families like the Shinno’s,” said Juno Ann Apalla, the 2016 March for Babies event coordinator.

People who wanted to start a family team, company team, or were already registered, had a chance to meet the Ambassador family as well as pick up a team captain packet at the Starbuck’s at the Kukui Grove Center on Tuesday.

“We’ve been doing this since at least 1998 when the walk was held at the Kukui Grove Park and Pavilion,” said Diane Melchor of Macy’s, a national sponsor of the event. “We even have pictures of those events before they moved it to Lydgate Park.”

Info: www.marchforbabies.org, Apalla at (971) 229-4884, or email marchforbabies-kauai@ junoapalla.org.

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