March for Babies to be held this weekend

Thousands to participate in three local events

DETROIT – Despite advances in medicine, too many babies are still being born prematurely.

This weekend, thousands of people will gather to help give babies the healthiest possible start in life by participating in three local March for Babies events.

On Saturday in Detroit at DMC Brush Mall, registration will begin at 7 a.m. The walk starts at 8 a.m. Parking is complementary in the DMC Heart Hospital Parking Deck, courtesy of DMC.

On Sunday at Oakland University, registration begins at 9 a.m. The walk starts at 10 a.m. In Lake St. Clair at Lake St. Clair Metropark, registration begins at 9 a.m. and the walk starts at 10 a.m.

Graduates of the neonatal intensive care unit and their families will be celebrated with special moments, including a Superhero Sprint for kids, complete with purple capes. Parents will also be honored with a symbolic lei.

For the first time this year, families can also visit the March for Babies Memory Garden, where those who have experienced the loss of a baby can remember him/her by planting a flower in the butterfly garden.

The events support the March of Dimes, a nonprofit organization devoted to improving the health of mothers-to-be and babies.

Each year in Michigan, more than 11,000 babies are born prematurely. Premature birth is the leading cause of death for babies, and those who survive often face lifelong challenges, including breathing problems, vision loss, cerebral palsy and intellectual delays.

For more information about the March For Babies, click here.

To learn more about the March of Dimes and premature births, click here.