Thousands March Across D.C. Metro Area to Save Babies

WI Web Staff | 5/13/2013, 10:17 p.m.

Washington Redskins star Stephen Bowen and his family will join thousands at March for Babies in support of the March of Dimes work of helping moms have full-term pregnancies and babies begin healthy lives. The Bowens tragically lost one of their twin boys to a premature birth. Sadly their story is too common. "That was just the worst day of my life," Stephen said. "Just knowing I'm looking at my son opening his eyes, and you see him drifting away in my arms. It was the last time I was ever going to see him. Ever."

He continued, "Everybody just thinks of babies being born healthy but nobody ever thinks about the different things that could go wrong during pregnancy. Just being part of that first hand, I just want to do whatever I can to help."

Like thousands of other families who have experienced both the greatest loss and triumph the Newborn Intensive Care Unit (NICU) has to offer, Stephen and Tiffany will walk in March for Babies to raise money for the March of Dimes mission to combat prematurity through research and education. They will attend the Washington, D.C. walk, which will be held Saturday, May 4 at 8:00 am at Nationals Park where the Jumbotron will capture the moment when each person finishes the three-mile route by crossing home plate.

There are numerous walks across the Washington Area April 27 - May 8. Prince George's March for Babies will be held Saturday, April 27 at 9:30 am, at Watkins Regional Park in Upper Marlboro. Both events include a stroller-friendly walk, children's activities and music.

Funds raised will support lifesaving research, education and advocacy for stronger, healthier babies. March for Babies donations also fund community programs such as NICU family support programs and the Mama & Baby Bus, which provides free prenatal care to those in Washington, D.C. and Prince George's County who would otherwise not receive care.

"One of today's most urgent health problems in the nation is premature birth," said Kate Leib, director of field services for the March of Dimes Maryland – National Capital Area Chapter. "Everyone who participates in March for Babies is giving hope to the more than 10,000 babies in the Washington Area that will be born premature this year."

March for Babies events are held in 900 communities nationwide and has more than seven million participants each year. Since the inaugural walk in 1970, more than $2 billion has been raised nationwide to benefit babies. For more information about March for Babies and to register and make a donation, visit www.marchforbabies.org.

This is a milestone year for the March of Dimes, which is celebrating its 75th anniversary. President Franklin D. Roosevelt established what would become the March of Dimes to fight polio and the foundation has been caring for America's children ever since.