Last updated: May 05. 2014 11:49AM - 1033 Views
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Walkers begin their walk during the March of Dimes event at Hollis Hand Elementary Saturday.
Walkers begin their walk during the March of Dimes event at Hollis Hand Elementary Saturday.
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Hundreds of walkers took part in the 25th annual March of Dimes’ event Saturday at Hollis Hand Elementary School.

“Today we march for babies in Troup County, and around the country and around the world,” said Coleman Vice, host of Saturday’s walk. “We march for healthier babies, we march for the babies that fought to survive and won.”

The March of Dimes funds life saving research and programs and works to end premature birth, birth defects and infant mortality.

According to Renee Willis, chair of Troup County’s March of Dimes, nearly 4 million babies are born in the United States each year and over half a million are born prematurely or with a birth defect.

“Every year and each and every one of those babies has a much better chance to of having a healthy start thanks to the work that the March of Dimes has done over the past 75 years through research, education, vaccines, and other very important breakthroughs,” said Willis. “And because you march, the March of Dimes can fund the research to discover the causes of premature birth and birth defects. And because you march, more women in our community can get prenatal care and improve their chances of having a healthy baby.”

Amanda Mallory, mother of the event’s ambassadors, twins Mattie and McRae, shared the story of her prematurely born children.

Last summer Mallory was sent to Northside Hospital in Atlanta at 26 weeks pregnant due to regular contractions she was experiencing. She spent the next seven weeks at the high-risk prenatal center. On Aug. 4, the twins were born at 33 weeks; McRae weighed 4 pounds 6 oz and Mattie 4 pounds two ounces. They both spent time in the neonatal intensive care unit, McRae for 3.5 weeks and Mattie for five weeks. Mattie was sent home on a heart monitor for a couple of months.

“After 12 weeks in Atlanta, we know how incredibly blessed we are to have two healthy girls with no long-term health complications,” said Mallory. “We met and lived beside so many families that can not say the same thing as us and we know how easily those roles could’ve been reversed, so we’re incredibly thankful for the March of Dimes and everything they do to decrease the number of premature babies and increase the number of healthy full- term babies.”

On Saturday some of the top fundraising teams for March of Dimes were announced:

Duracell: $14,200

Interface: $10, 3339

Sewon America: $12,135

Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity: $3,581

Publix: $2,501

Mallory Insurance: $2,000

Live Oak: $4,000

Emory Clark-Holder Clinic: $2,520

As of Monday morning, March of Dimes Senior Communications Director, Carla Starling, said they have exceeded their goal of $83,000.

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