Every year, nearly 4 million babies are born in the U.S. and out of those births, one in ten are born prematurely. The mission of the March of Dimes is to improve the health of babies by preventing birth defects, premature birth and infant mortality. When you join March for Babies you stand with thousands of people who share your commitment to building a brighter future. The money you raise will be a lifeline for moms and babies near you and across the country.

The annual March for Babies is the biggest fundraiser for the March of Dimes each year. The money you raise will go to expand programs, fund research and educate medical professionals to better provide the best healthcare possible. Join more than 1,500 people at the Cedar Rapids walk in support of moms at every stage from preconception to post-delivery. Participants may be a part of a team or may walk as individuals. Every dollar raised brings the March of Dimes one step closer to reaching their goal of saving more babies and preventing premature births.

This year, the Bressler family is serving as the Ambassador family for the event. They hope their story will encourage new walkers to participate and understand how important it is to support the March of Dimes.

“In July of 2013, we were ecstatic to be expecting our first baby, due in April of 2014. We were looking forward to a long, uneventful pregnancy, but unfortunately, there were other plans in store for us. At my first appointment, the baby was already measuring small, and I was referred to the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics for additional ultrasounds and follow-up. After several months, they determined that perhaps my due date must be off, as the baby’s growth had been steady. The second trimester brought persistent headaches, but with this being my first pregnancy, I didn’t feel like it was out of the ordinary.

On Tuesday, January 7th I noticed that she wasn’t moving as much as usual. I called the hospital and they advised to have something to eat, lay back down, and start counting her kicks. While she moved some, I was still uneasy and not able to sleep. We went into Labor and Delivery at Unity Point for monitoring. Her heart beat was strong, and while my blood pressure was elevated, we attributed it to my stress and worry. My 28 week appointment was just a day away, so I went home and waited. That morning I mentioned to the nurse that my ring didn’t fit, and she took my blood pressure and tested my urine. The doctor came in shortly thereafter to ask what hospital I wanted to go to for a 24 hour monitoring. I was in shock– I was alone at this appointment and had no idea what they were worried about. Justin arrived and we headed to Unity Point for what we thought was an overnight stay. I was put on magnesium for my blood pressure, given steroids for the baby’s lungs, and placed on bed-rest. My blood pressure continued to rise, and by Saturday evening I began experiencing severe pain in my side. I was sent to the OR for a C-section, and our daughter Jaelyn was born Sunday, January 12th at 8:05am.

At 28 weeks and 3 days gestation, she weighed just 1 pound and 15 ounces. She was rushed to the NICU, and I was sent to recovery. It was a long 32 hours before I was allowed out of bed to see her again. Jaelyn spent the next 77 days in the NICU fighting against a heart PDA, jaundice, her low birth weight, and multiple blood transfusions. She is now almost 4 years old, and while she remains small for her age, at this time she doesn’t have any long term effects of her early arrival. She is the proud big sister to her full-term and healthy brother Xander, who was born April 27, 2017. We started our family team “Jammin’ for Jaelyn” right after her discharge from the NICU to celebrate her journey, and to give other families hope. We are excited to be serving as the 2018 Cedar Rapids March for Babies Ambassador Family, and to be giving back to a foundation that has given us so much. Sharing our story will help bring awareness to the importance of the March of Dimes and their mission, while also raising essential funds to support their life-saving research.” Trisha, Justin, Jaelyn & Xander Bressler

Please come out and support the March of Dimes on Sunday, April 22, 2018. If you are unable to participate, please make a donation at www.marchforbabies.org/event/cedarrapidsia. You will be helping to give every baby a fighting chance.

This event wouldn’t be possible without the amazing event chair, Jenny Miller! Her and the presenting sponsor, Rockwell Collins, have been a force for shaping this event and their support and partnership with the March of Dimes is crucial to their mission and the success of this event. Make sure to hang around after the walk for the Collins Community Credit Union sponsored Family Fun Zone - complete with games, activities, and a bounce house!

Walk distance: 2.5 miles
Rockwell Collins Headquarters
400 Collins Road NE, Cedar Rapids
Registration and Check-in will be held at the Rockwell Collins Recreation Center in the High Court area. Participants will gather in the Sports Park for Opening Ceremonies at 8:45am with the walk to begin at 9am.

©Copyright City Revealed 2017