On Saturday, April 27, hundreds from Middlesex County will gather for March for Babies at Union Park in Middletown to benefit the March of Dimes. Leading the festivities will be Rich and Arlene Poole, along with their sons Timothy, Josef and Edward, who will serve as the 2013 Middletown Ambassador family.
They will share their journey of Edward’s premature birth, and thank walkers for their commitment to the March of Dimes mission to give all babies a healthy start.
Due on January 21, 2009, Edward was born nearly 17 weeks too soon on September 25, 2008, weighing just 1 lb. 6 oz. He spent 5 ½ months in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at UConn Health Center receiving specialized care for premature newborns, as he had gastrointestinal, breathing and blood pressure issues. He had also endured heart and hernia surgeries.
He received surfactant, a therapy funded in part through the March of Dimes, to help mature his tiny lungs.
Reflecting on their time in the NICU, Arlene said “I went home on the third day of Ed’s life and every time the phone rang we were terrified that they were going to tell us the worst had happened. We received a few calls stating that he had just had a code blue. Our older children were also frightened and didn’t know what to say or do. But the staff was terrific and really helped us through our ordeal.”
Today Edward is a healthy 4 year old who attends preschool, loves music and learning new songs , putting together puzzles and watching Dora the Explorer.
“We never even thought about the possibility of our child being born premature. It was truly a miracle that Ed survived and not only that but he thrives. That would not be possible without the research that the March of Dimes supports. They mean a lot to us because Ed means a lot to us,” said Arlene. “For each life that is saved by the research supported by the March of Dimes we have future fathers, mothers, and leaders.”
March for Babies participants can meet the family and hear their story in Middletown on Saturday, April 27. 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 a.m. with the walk kicking off at 10 a.m. To register visit marchforbabies.org or marchofdimes.com/ct. Donations may also be made online to the Poole’s team, JET Boys.
Middlesex Co. March for Babies is sponsored by Middlesex Hospital, 102.9 DRC-FM, 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.