On Sunday, April 28, hundreds from the lower Fairfield County area will gather for March for Babies at Commons Park at Harbor Point in Stamford to benefit the March of Dimes. Leading the festivities will be Keith and Michelle Sklar, along with their daughter, Zoey, who will serve as the 2013 Stamford Ambassador family. They will share their journey of Zoey’s premature birth, and thank walkers for their commitment to the March of Dimes mission to give all babies a healthy start.
Due on December 31, 2011, Zoey was born nearly five weeks too soon, weighing just 4 lbs. 14 oz. She spent 33 days in the neonatal intensive Care Unit at Greenwich Hospital receiving specialized care for premature newborns, as Zoey had poor muscle tone and much difficulty feeding.
“The NICU experience is like a roller coaster ride, and no two people handle it the exact same way,” said Michelle. “It is unlike anything most people will ever experience. Leaving your child in the care, albeit the best care possible, but still leaving them and going home each night is emotional and in itself draining. There is a full gamut of emotions, but mostly we were hopeful.”
Today Zoey is 14 months old, and according to mom “loves saying mama and rolling around and working on crawling on her play mat.”
March for Babies participants can meet the family and hear their story in Stamford on Sunday, April 28. Funds raised by March for Babies help support prenatal wellness programs, research grants, neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) family support programs and advocacy efforts for stronger, healthier babies. Registration for March for Babies begins at 9:00 a.m. with the walk kicking off at 10:00 a.m.
To register visit marchforbabies.org or marchofdimes.com/ct. Donations may be made online to the Sklar’s team, Zoey is One Tough Cookie.
Stamford March for Babies is sponsored by Building and Land Technology, Connecticut Parent Magazine, Star 99.9, and statewide sponsors NBC Connecticut and Comcast. March for Babies is sponsored nationally by the March of Dimes number one corporate supporter Kmart, Farmers Insurance Group, Macy’s, Cigna, Sanofi Pasteur, Famous Footwear, Actavis, Mission Pharmacal, and United Airlines.
In 2013, the March of Dimes celebrates its 75th anniversary and its ongoing work to help babies get a healthy start in life. Early research led to the Salk and Sabin polio vaccines that all babies still receive. Other breakthroughs include new treatments for premature infants and children with birth defects. About 4 million babies are born each year in the United States, and all have benefitted from March of Dimes lifesaving research and education.
The March of Dimes is the leading nonprofit organization for pregnancy and baby health. With chapters nationwide and its premier event, March for Babies, the March of Dimes works to improve the health of babies by preventing birth defects, premature birth and infant mortality. For the latest resources and information, visit marchofdimes.com or nacersano.org. Find us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.