Monday, March 23, 2009

March for Babies

This year in loving memory of my daughters I have started a March for Babies team.

I know that with the way the economy is right now it is hard for people to donate. Please remember, a donation does not have to be much! The March of Dimes actually started with Franklin D. Roosevelt during the Great Depression. In January 1938, alarmed by decades of worsening polio epidemics and the terrible toll the virus was taking on America's young, President Roosevelt established the National Foundation for Infantile Paralysis. The National Foundation emphasized the nationwide significance and non-partisan character of the polio crusade. FDR believed that people could solve any problem if they worked together. Comedian Eddie Cantor coined the phrase "March of Dimes" (playing on the popular newsreel feature "The March of Time"), appealing to radio listeners all over the country to send their dimes directly to the White House. The campaign proved to be hugely successful. The National Foundation officially changed its name to the March of Dimes in 1979.
The Polio vaccine was funded by The March of Dimes. As a result of the polio vaccine there has not been a new case of polio in the western hemisphere since 1991. Since the vaccine was found, the Mach of Dimes changed their mission to research and programs to help save babies from prematurity, birth defects and low birth weight.

March of Dimes Milestones and Timeline
January 1938
President Franklin Delano Roosevelt establishes the National Foundation for Infantile Paralysis - a unique partnership of scientists and volunteers - to conquer polio.
Eddie Cantor creates the first grassroots fund-raiser for the National Foundation, asking the public to send dimes to President Roosevelt at the White House. The effort was called the March of Dimes, which later became part of the official name of the foundation.

March of Dimes first research grant goes to Yale University.

March of Dimes first chapter is established in Coshocton, Ohio.

March of Dimes provides first iron lung to assist polio victims.

March of Dimes selects Dr. Jonas Salk to lead research on classifying polio viruses.

First Mothers March launched in Phoenix, Arizona., to raise emergency funding during a serious polio outbreak.

Virginia Apgar, M.D., develops the Apgar Score, a clinical system for evaluating an infant's physical condition at birth. By the end of the decade, it becomes the standard practice in obstetrical care throughout the world, and remains so today. Her scoring system was the crucial first step in the evolution of medical subspecialties focused on newborns. Dr. Apgar worked from 1959 until her death in 1974 for the March of Dimes.

Dr. Salk confirms the feasibility of a killed-virus vaccine for polio.

March of Dimes runs field trials of Salk vaccine with 1,830,000 schoolchildren participating. The test is the largest peacetime mobilization of volunteers in history.

April 12, 1955
Salk vaccine is declared "safe, effective and potent."

March of Dimes initiates the first concerted efforts to save babies from birth defects.

March of Dimes establishes The Salk Institute for Biological Studies in La Jolla, Calif.

Earlier March of Dimes work pays off in the development of the PKU test. This allows some forms of mental retardation to be prevented.

Oral polio vaccine, developed by Dr. Albert Sabin with funding from the March of Dimes is licensed.

March of Dimes funds the first successful bone marrow transplant to correct a birth defect.

First WalkAmerica events take place in San Antonio, Texas, and Columbus, Ohio.

March of Dimes researchers discover that alcohol consumption during pregnancy causes birth defects.

March of Dimes funds first in utero treatment for a birth defect.

April Murphy is first baby to be successfully treated in the womb for birth defects

March of Dimes calls for creation of a regional system of newborn intensive care units to save sick babies.

March of Dimes funds first prenatal diagnosis of sickle cell anemia.

March of Dimes funds first successful surgery to correct a urinary blockage in an unborn baby.

March of Dimes launches "Babies & You" program to bring prenatal education to the workplace.

March of Dimes funds development of a newborn screening test for biotinidase deficiency, which can cause mental retardation and death unless treated promptly.

March of Dimes funds research leading to the use of surfactant to treat respiratory distress syndrome(RDS). Danielle Cofey is one of first infants to be treated with life-saving surfactant therapy.

March of Dimes grantee performs the first in utero surgery to repair a diaphragmatic hernia in an unborn baby.

Blake Schultz is first baby to undergo lifesaving fetal surgery to correct a diaphragmatic hernia.

March of Dimes funds research showing that delivering babies with spina bifida by cesarean section may save them from paralysis.

March of Dimes grantees identify genes responsible for Marfan syndrome -- an inherited disorder of connective tissue, and fragile X syndrome -- the most common known familial cause of mental retardation.

March of Dimes grantee locates a gene connected with 70 to 80 percent of cases of acute leukemia in infants.

March of Dimes grantees clone gene responsible for X-linked adrenoleukodystrophy — a rare and often fatal hereditary disease characterized by adrenal failure and paralysis.

Ashanthi DeSilva and Cynthia Cutshall become first Americans to undergo gene therapy.

March of Dimes launches nationwide campaign urging women to take the B vitamin folic acid to help prevent neural tube birth defects.

March of Dimes grantees share Nobel Prize for research on fruit flies that identified master genes that control the early structural development of the body.

March of Dimes funds research showing that treating certain infections with antibiotics reduces the risk of preterm delivery.

March of Dimes-supported research on nitric oxide leads to a new treatment to save premature babies from persistent pulmonary hypertension, a deadly lung disorder.

March of Dimes volunteers help secure passage of the Mothers' and Newborns' Health Protection Act, guaranteeing a minimum hospital stay of 48 hours following delivery.

With March of Dimes support, the FDA approves fortification of grain products with folic acid.

March of Dimes grantee successfully uses deactivated HIV viruses as delivery systems for healthy genes in gene therapy.

March of Dimes grantee finds that gene abnormalities in the development of certain enzymes involved in folic acid metabolism may contribute to susceptibility to neural tube defects.

March of Dimes grantee identifies a gene for Alagille syndrome, a rare inherited disorder that causes abnormalities in different parts of the body.

March of Dimes volunteers help secure passage of the State Children's Health Insurance Program (S-CHIP), to provide health care coverage for up to 5 million children.

March of Dimes volunteers help secure passage of the Birth Defects Prevention Act, establishing a nationwide network of birth defects monitoring and research programs.

March of Dimes research leads to one of the first successful surgeries to treat spina bifida before birth. Noah Kipfmiller is one of the first babies to undergo this pioneering open-womb surgical procedure.

March of Dimes grantees successfully use gene therapy to treat hemophilia and retinitis pigmentosa in the lab.

March of Dimes volunteers developed key provisions and worked to enact The Children's Health Act of 2000. The law creates a National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and helps states to expand newborn screening.

March of Dimes launches a partnership with the Dutch-based de Waal Foundation to provide prenatal care and birth defects prevention information to women in Ecuador, Honduras and Nicaragua.

March of Dimes grantees win the Nobel Prize in Medicine or Physiology for their discoveries on genetic regulation of organ development and programmed cell death (apoptosis).

The March of Dimes promotion of folic acid fortification and awareness contributed to a 21 percent decline in the occurrence of neural tube birth defects between 1995 - 2000.

March of Dimes launches a multimillion dollar, multiyear campaign to prevent premature birth and raise awareness of its serious consequences.

The North Building at The Salk Institute for Biological Studies is dedicated to March of Dimes volunteers, as part of the 50th anniversary of the polio vaccine.

Nobel Prizes are awarded to March of Dimes grantees Drs. Roger D. Kornberg and Craig Mello for groundbreaking discoveries on RNA and its role in human development.

March of Dimes advocacy leads to passage of the PREEMIE Act to bring together experts from the private and public sectors to speed development of prevention strategies for preterm labor and delivery.

March of Dimes volunteer efforts lead to increase in newborn screening. Nearly 90 percent of all babies born in the U.S. – more than double the percentage in 2005 – live in states that require screening for at least 21 of 29 life-threatening but treatable disorders.

If you read this timeline, without a doubt, there is something that the March of Dimes has helped make possible for you, your mother, sister,child or someone close to you. Without the March of Dimes funds research leading to the use of surfactant to treat respiratory distress syndrome, my daughters would not have been able to live as long as they did. Because of the surfactant I got those precious memories I have of my daughters. This is one reason I find it so important and so near to my heart to help raise funds for The March of Dimes. Won't you please help me help The March of Dimes?? You can log onto my personal page at or click on my March for Babies widget on the right side of my page and make a donation online. It is fast, easy and secure! Or join our team and walk with us! Thank you for helping me give every baby a healthy start!


  1. I think I just might have to join your team. That sounds good =).

    I wish that you didn't have to miss your girls at all, but I am glad that you got to have memories with them too.

  2. I wish I could walk with you this year. Andy and I did it last year with his work and it felt great to support such a good cause, but I did donate to your team through Amberlyn.. thanks for the history on the March of Dimes too~ :)

  3. Hi! :) I clicked over from Kelly's have SUCH a beautiful blog. God bless!

  4. Wow, this is incredible. I learned so much about this amazing organization.

    I'm so sorry about your beautiful twins.

  5. Your family is beautiful! Would you mind if I used your timeline for my blog? We March in memory of my triplet son Colin who lost his battle with prematurity at 8 days old. His brothers are here and doing well.

    jillk77 at aol dot com