March is National Optimism Month and we have something that will raise your hopes not only for the babies we’re helping with our research, but also for a fun-filled family vacation!

Six Family Teams will win a trip for four team members to Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida!

  • The Top 3 Family Teams in the U.S. with the most money raised will each win, and
  • 3 additional Family Teams will be selected by a random drawing to win (you’ll get 1 entry for every $500 raised by your Family Team)

Winners will get air travel, 3-night hotel accommodations and a 2-day Park Hopper pass for 4 team members!  Some restrictions apply. Please see this pdf for more details and how to qualify.

Janowski family

Janowski family

Mary Pat Janowski has done it again! She’s the first to reach Top Walker status for the 2014 March for Babies!

A Top Walker is someone who raises $1,000 or more for March for Babies; and Mary Pat done that plus at least $230 more! One of our most dedicated volunteers, Mary Pat has served as Official Ambassador and on the Family Team Committee and Communications Committee.

Congratulations Mary Pat!  And THANK YOU!

2014 Ambassadors_collage

We are excited to introduce you to our Official Ambassadors for 2014:

  • The Helms Family of Hilsboro, OR
  • The Olsen Family of Philomath, OR
  • The Zeulner Family of Portland, OR

They all know the struggles that come with premature birth and are working with March of Dimes in hopes that fewer families will the experience they did.

You can read their stories here.

4 lbs, 8 oz

4 lbs, 8 oz

Five years ago, Katrina Janowski was born 8 weeks too soon. After spending 22 days in the NICU, she got to come home. On that day she weighed exactly 4 lbs, 8oz; the same as the bag of chocolate chips she’s holding in this photo.

Katrina and her family have been raising money and awareness for March of Dimes to help give babies a healthy start in life. You can help them. Donate to their March for Babies team here, or visit marchforbabies.org and start your own team.

A new report from the U.S. Surgeon General confirms that smoking during pregnancy causes babies to be born with cleft lip and cleft palate.

“We now have confirmation that smoking during pregnancy can damage the health of both mothers and babies.  By quitting smoking before or during pregnancy, a woman will not only improve her own health; she may save her baby from being born too small and with a serious, disfiguring birth defect,” said Edward R. B. McCabe, MD, March of Dimes Chief Medical Officer. “Smoking during pregnancy exposes the baby to dangerous chemicals such as nicotine, carbon monoxide, and tar. These chemicals can reduce how much oxygen the baby gets, affecting the baby’s growth and development.”

The Health Consequences of Smoking—50 Years of Progress,” was released by the Surgeon General today in honor of the landmark 1963 report that documented the death and disease caused by smoking. See chapter 9 for reproduction outcomes.

The report also stated that each year about 1,000 infant deaths can be attributed to smoking. Of those, about 40% are classified as sudden infant death syndrome, the unexplained death of a baby under a year old while sleeping.

More than 7,000 babies are born in the U.S. each year born with an oral cleft birth defect and smoking increases the risk by 30 to 50 percent; this increased risk can be prevented by quitting smoking.

Nationally, about 23% of women smoke during pregnancy. In Oregon, that number drops to 10.6%, and even lower in Washington to 8.7% of pregnant women smoking.

cchd gov signing

Today in Salem, the Governor signed Senate bill 172  into law. The legislation requires screening of all newborns in Oregon for critical congenital heart disease.

Joining Governor Kitzhaber at the formal bill signing are The Lahr Family from Grants Pass, March of Dimes staff, Pat Sheans from Legacy Health, Rep. Greenlick, Rep. Keny-Geyer and Rep. Hicks.

Our hearts are happy.

We’re looking for our 2014 Official Chapter Ambassador(s)!  Could that be you?

Are you:

  • a mission family who has a child born premature or with birth defects?
  • passionate about supporting March of Dimes?
  • willing to share your story with the media and all our constituents?
  • live in Oregon or SW Washington?

If so, please download this Official Ambassador Application 2014, fill it out and return it by end of day Monday, November 25 to mlarsen@marchofdimes.com.

Click here to learn about past Chapter Ambassadors.


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