WASHINGTON, Oct. 24, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Volunteers and supporters of the March of Dimes want the world to know that Americans support giving all babies a healthy start in life by preventing preterm birth.
The March of Dimes is petitioning to light the White House purple January 3, 2013 – to mark the March of Dimes 75th Anniversary – as a symbol of hope for premature babies.
To turn the White House purple, 25,000 signatures on an online petition are needed. Show your support for healthy babies by visiting http://1.usa.gov/QrT8WX to sign the petition.
The March of Dimes was founded January 1938 by President Franklin D. Roosevelt. Affected by polio himself, FDR established the organization to "lead, direct and unify" the fight against polio. The March of Dimes galvanized America to defeat polio. It funded the development of the Salk vaccine which was tested in 1954 and licensed a year later, as well as the Sabin vaccine which became available in 1962. Nearly all babies born today still receive this lifesaving injection.
Today, the March of Dimes is working to bring hope and support to the families of premature babies. It funds research, education, vaccines, and breakthroughs to give every baby a healthy start in life. Each of the four million babies born in the United States this and every year benefits from March of Dimes research, education and work to give all babies a healthier start in life.
Preterm birth, birth before 37 completed weeks of pregnancy, is a serious health problem that costs the United States more than $26 billion annually, according to the Institute of Medicine. It is the leading cause of newborn death, and babies who survive an early birth often face the risk of lifetime health challenges, such as breathing problems, cerebral palsy, intellectual disabilities and others. Even babies born just a few weeks early have higher rates of hospitalization and illness than full-term infants. At least 39 weeks of pregnancy are important to a baby's health because many important organs, including the brain and lungs, are not completely developed until then.
The March of Dimes is the leading nonprofit organization for pregnancy and baby health. With chapters nationwide, 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.
SOURCE March of Dimes