March of Dimes fundraiser on target

WAILUA — “I have been walking from even before 1996,” Pauline Viernes said Saturday during the March for Babies at Lydgate Park. “When I was working for Wilcox (Health), I used to put together the teams for these kinds of walks. Besides, this is a good cause. We’re also walking next week for multiple sclerosis.”

Viernes was joined by Colleen Hironaka and Nanette Dettloff as independents, joining 23 teams which left the main pavilion for a stroll along Ke Ala Hele Makalae to the Kamalani Bridge and back as a fundraiser for the March of Dimes.

“This is exciting,” said Juno Ann Apalla, the March of Dimes event coordinator. “We have at least 200 walkers and to date, have raised more than $10,000 toward our $30,000 goal.”

Carmella Hernandez, the March of Dimes Hawaii executive director, said fundraising efforts are continuing at Famous Footwear, Kmart and Longs Drugs.

“These are still going on,” Hernandez said. “We should be in pretty good shape for our goal once these efforts finish.”

Kauai’s Ambassador families, the Morales and Strickland families, became part of the sea of walkers. All of them were helping raise funds for the March of Dimes, which helps local families when a pregnancy appears headed to a premature delivery.

A full-term pregnancy is between 40 and 42 weeks. A baby born prematurely can have underdeveloped lungs which can lead to respiratory problems, shallow breathing and pneumonia. Other complications can include blood infections, digestive distress and other health issues which make it difficult for these small keiki to survive.

The March of Dimes has been helping families have healthy babies for more than 75 years.


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