On Saturday, May 4, hundreds from the Mystic area will gather for March for Babies at Olde Mistick Village to benefit the March of Dimes. Leading the festivities will be Evan and Amy Cooper, along with their daughter, Molly, and son, Joshua who will serve as the 2013 Mystic Ambassador family. They will share their journey of Molly’s premature birth, and thank walkers for their commitment to the March of Dimes mission to give all babies a healthy start.
Due on August 18, 2008, Molly was born 14 weeks too soon on June 2, 2008, weighing just 2 lbs. 12 oz. She spent two month in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at Yale-New Haven Hospital receiving specialized care for premature newborns, as Molly had a slight brain bleed, needed various forms of breathing support and more.
“The NICU experience is so stressful. She was so sick and no one was sure of her survival. She was in the most critical state for the first month of her life,” said Evan.
Today Molly is a healthy 4 ½ year old who loves to draw, paint, swim, play ice hockey and soccer and play with her princess dolls.
“Serving as an Ambassador family for the March of Dimes is a way for us to ‘pay it forward,’” said Evan. “We know that without the research that the March of Dimes funds, Molly’s outcome would not have been likely. Many years ago, babies born as early as Molly rarely survived. But there is still much research to be done. We don’t know why Molly came so early, yet her brother was born full-term and healthy.”
In addition to their March for Babies team, the Cooper’s will also be hosting “Skate for Babies,” on Saturday, March 2 at Dayton Arena at Connecticut College in New London. The event, which takes place from 6-9 p.m., asks for a suggested donation of $10 per adult and $5 per child. Skate rentals are available for $5. All proceeds benefit the March of Dimes.
March for Babies participants can meet the family and hear their story in Mystic on Saturday, May 4. Funds raised by March for Babies help support prenatal wellness programs, research grants, neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) family support programs and advocacy efforts for stronger, healthier babies. Registration for March for Babies begins at 7:30 a.m. with the walk kicking off at 8:30 a.m. To register visit marchforbabies.org or marchofdimes.com/ct. Donations may also be made online to the Cooper’s team.
Mystic March for Babies is sponsored by Olde Mistick Village, Mohegan Sun, CCR Wealth Management, Soft Rock 106.5 WBMW, Jammin 107.7, 94.9 News Now, and statewide sponsors NBC Connecticut and Comcast. March for Babies is sponsored nationally by the March of Dimes number one corporate supporter Kmart, Farmers Insurance Group, Macy’s, Cigna, Sanofi Pasteur, Famous Footwear, Actavis, Mission Pharmacal, and United Airlines.
In 2013, the March of Dimes celebrates its 75th anniversary and its ongoing work to help babies get a healthy start in life. Early research led to the Salk and Sabin polio vaccines that all babies still receive. Other breakthroughs include new treatments for premature infants and children with birth defects. About 4 million babies are born each year in the United States, and all have benefitted from March of Dimes lifesaving research and education.
The March of Dimes is the leading nonprofit organization for pregnancy and baby health. With chapters nationwide and its premier event, March for Babies, the March of Dimes works to improve the health of babies by preventing birth defects, premature birth and infant mortality. For the latest resources and information, visit marchofdimes.com or nacersano.org. Find us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.