Thursday, May 1, 2014

March for Babies

My platform may be empowering teens to say "Later Hater!" to dating violence, but I have always enjoyed giving back to multiple organizations that dedicate their time and efforts to addressing other community issues. That's the great thing about volunteerism and advocacy: there's no rule saying that you can only support one cause at a time! One particular cause that is especially dear to me is preventing preterm birth.

Since high school, I knew I wanted to be involved in the world of healthcare as I established my career path. While my vision of just how I would be involved changed, one thing never did: my desire to work with pregnant women and newborns. One of the most valuable internships I was fortunate enough to complete was with the March of Dimes National Office. The March of Dimes was originally created as an organization addressing polio. Once polio was all but eradicated in the United States, rather than shutting down the March of Dimes shifted its focus to preventing preterm births.

Even though I'm no longer an intern at the March of Dimes, I remain close with my mentors and colleagues at the National Office. My current position as a reproductive genetics study supervisor allows me to work on projects focused on ensuring that women have healthy pregnancies. I also continue to support the March of Dimes mission by participating in their annual March for Babies. Each year across the nation hundreds of walks are held to raise money to continue the research, advocacy, and support initiatives the March of Dimes is known for. This year, the Westchester March for Babies took place on Sunday, April 27.

I always have a wonderful time at the walk, which kicks off at Saxon Woods Park in White Plains.

I was so grateful to be a part of the team kicking off the event onstage. This team included White Plains Mayor Tom Roach, WCBS Meteorologist Elise Finch, March for Babies board members, and the absolutely adorable Joy, a micro preemie born to the March for Babies Ambassador family, the Degls. Joy is now a thriving 22-month old. 

With Elise Finch prior to kicking off the March! Yes, I am double-sashing it! 

There were so many people that we didn't even fit behind the banner as we prepared to start the Walk through White Plains!

Off they go! In all, Westchester walkers raised over $800,000!

I happened to spot some of my Montefiore coworkers in the crowd of walkers--how awesome is that?!

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