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Organization works to prevent child birth defects, diseases

March of Dimes plans marches across Michigan for the end of April

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Posted: Sunday, April 22, 2012 12:00 am | Updated: 11:40 am, Fri Apr 5, 2013.

The March of Dimes is an organization that is widespread across the U.S. and helps raise money to prevent child birth defects and diseases.

Marches will be occurring across the state of Michigan in the next month in Grand Rapids on April 28, Wayne State and Battle Creek on April 29, in Bay City on May 6, as well as in many other locations across the state.

The March of Dimes was originally founded in the late 1930s, but was not given the official name until the mid-1970s.

The organization’s original goal was to eliminate polio back in the late 1930s early 1940s when it was founded by Franklin Roosevelt who was a victim of the disease. When polio was abolished, The March of Dimes established a new goal to fight against child birth defects in the 1950s. From then on it has been the organization’s goal to reduce infant defects and diseases.

Some of the specific names of the diseases that March of Dimes fights against are Rubella, Folic Acid and Fetal Alcohol syndrome.

Rubella is a disease that causes mental retardation, deafness and blindness. The organization raised enough money back in the 1970s to start researching a medicine to help fight against Rubella, and today has 40 years of research dedicated to fighting this disease.

March of Dimes Director of Development Sarah Arminiak said she didn’t know exactly how many lives have been saved because of March of Dimes, but did say that there has been a decrease in premature birth over the past four years.

“Premature Birth is the leading cause of infant mortality,” Arminiak said. “All monies donated to the March of Dimes support the lifesaving research, public health, professional education, advocacy and community services directed at lowering the incidence of premature birth, birth defect and infant mortality.”

The money that is donated not only goes to research and vaccination to decrease infant diseases, but it also goes to programs that help mothers that live in poverty to have worry-free and healthy pregnancies.

The March of Dimes walk will be at WSU on Apr. 29. It will begin and end at St. Andrew’s Church. Registration for the march will begin at 8 a.m. on April 29 and the march will begin at 9 a.m. Any donations for the march are appreciated even if you don’t have time to walk.

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