PROVIDENCE, R.I., Oct. 30, 2015 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Brenda Kieran, a neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) nurse from Providence, Rhode Island, plans to climb to the summit of Mt. Kilimanjaro, Tanzania, the tallest mountain in Africa, on Nov. 17, World Prematurity Day, to honor babies born premature and benefit the March of Dimes.
"My goddaughter, Elizabeth was born preterm and was my inspiration to become a NICU nurse," says Brenda. "I knew my life had changed forever once I visited her in the hospital. No one expects to have a premature baby. I'm also inspired by my highly skilled medical colleagues who care for babies in the NICU around the clock and by the efforts of the March of Dimes to find new ways 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. A nurse colleague, Kathy Baker, will join her on the climb. They leave for Africa on November 9 from Boston's Logan Airport and expect to begin the ascent on November 12. Brenda has raised $5,000 already 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 2014 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.
SOURCE March of Dimes