Thousands of walkers lace up to help babies - Dallas News | myFOXdfw.com

Thousands of walkers lace up to help babies

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It's all about the babies in North Texas.  Tens of thousands of walkers in Dallas and Fort Worth lined up Saturday morning to raise money and awareness about the March of Dimes, and its mission. 

FOX 4's Calvert Collins had the privilege of emceeing the Dallas event, and FOX 4's Brandon Todd emceed the Fort Worth event.  

In the crowd of colorful shirts and shoes, pushing strollers and walking dogs, each walker has a story, like Tanya Clay, of a Dallas Ambassador Family.  "When our son Q was born, he weighed one pound, seven ounces at 24 weeks.  He was born so early that his lungs were extremely immature, so the March of Dimes has benefited our community by developing the drug Serfactin and the Serfactin is what helps them breathe.

The Clay family in Dallas and the Thompson family in Fort Worth credit the March of Dimes for saving their sons.  "Maybe I would've been going to put flowers on a headstone, I don't even like to think about that," said Sherae Thompson, of a Fort Worth Ambassador Family. 

Between the two walks, this year's March for Babies hopes to raise $2 million in Dallas, and $1.2 million in Fort Worth.  Steve Love is President and CEO of the Dallas-Fort Worth Hospital Council.  "This money will be used, much of it returned locally, for research, for prevention, detection… what we can do to stop pre-term births, which is the leading cause of infant mortality." 

The March of Dimes is currently funding more than $2 million in medical research at UT Southwestern to study birth defects, causes of infant mortality and prevention and detection methods. 

"What's not to love about trying to help a child fare better in the early part of life," said Pam Stoyanoff, COO of Methodist Health System.  Every newborn, pre or full-term, receives a screening panel, which was created in part by the March of Dimes. 

While the work is still serious, Saturday was about the fun.  This was more than just a Saturday for little Q Clay, it's also his third birthday.  "When he was born, the doctors basically told us he might not be here in a week, and to be celebrating his third birthday with such a huge party is an awesome blessing," said Curtis Clay. 

The Dallas walk at White Rock Lake had 30,000 walkers and more than 12,000 people walked in Fort Worth, setting a new record.

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