Nurse Summits Mount Kilimanjaro On World Prematurity Day

Honoring 15 Million Babies Born Preterm Around the World

30 Nov, 2015, 16:14 ET from March of Dimes Foundation

WHITE PLAINS, N.Y., Nov. 30, 2015 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Brenda Kieran, a newborn intensive care unit (NICU) nurse from Providence, Rhode Island, and nurse colleague, Katie Baker summited Mt. Kilimanjaro, Tanzania, the tallest mountain in Africa, on Nov. 17, World Prematurity Day, in honor of babies born premature and benefit the March of Dimes.

"Summiting the tallest mountain in Africa on behalf of the March of Dimes mission to prevent babies born too soon is the highlight of my life," says Brenda. "It's also on behalf of my goddaughter, Elizabeth who was born preterm and my inspiration to become a NICU nurse. As Prematurity Awareness Month comes to a close I hope that my small accomplishment helps to inspire everyone around the world to support the March of Dimes mission to prevent and treat premature babies."

The United States preterm birth rate ranks among the worst of high-resource countries, the March of Dimes says. Worldwide, 15 million babies are born preterm, and nearly one million die due to early birth or its complications. Babies who survive an early birth often face serious and lifelong health problems, including breathing problems, jaundice, vision loss, cerebral palsy and intellectual delays.

Brenda has worked at Women & Infants Hospital in Providence for the past ten years.  She has raised more than $5,000 to support March of Dimes research to prevent premature birth, but hopes to raise more.  You can make a donation to her March of Dimes page.

The March of Dimes leads the World Prematurity Network (WPN), a global coalition of consumer and parent groups working together to raise awareness and prevent premature birth in their countries.  Through World Prematurity Day and other joint efforts, members call for action to prevent preterm birth and improve care for babies born too soon. Nearly 100 countries participated in World Prematurity Day 2015 with building and landmark lightings, outdoor events, petitions, and other demonstrations of support.

The March of Dimes works to improve the health of babies by preventing birth defects, premature birth and infant mortality. The March of Dimes is the leading nonprofit organization for pregnancy and baby health.  For the latest resources and information, visit marchofdimes.org or nacersano.org. Find us on Facebook and Twitter.

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SOURCE March of Dimes Foundation