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March of Dimes raises awareness about premature births

By Dora Miller, dmiller@ktxs.com
Published On: May 17 2014 07:03:22 PM CDT
Updated On: May 18 2014 01:38:33 PM CDT
ABILENE, Texas -

On Saturday morning, the March of Dimes held its annual "March for Babies" walk for babies who were born prematurely.

In this year alone, nearly half a million babies will be born prematurely. That adds up to about one in every nine births.

Tanisha Riley lost her nephew, Casen Riley, when he was six-months old. Casen was born 10 weeks early and died of a cardiomyopathy.

Casen's situation is not uncommon, though. Pre-term births are the number one killer of newborns. That means Riley is not alone in her suffering.

"I have two nieces that were born premature," said Colleen Ferguson, whose children were born prematurely. "One was born at 28 weeks, she's now two and half years old and the other was born at 19 weeks and didn't make it."

Ferguson used the walk to celebrate what March of Dimes had done for her daughter, who only weighed about two pounds at birth.

"March of Dimes did a lot for us while we were in the NICU, they had a representative there, and that's what kept us sane during her NICU stay," Ferguson said.

Riley said if you are blessed to have a healthy child, cherish them because not everyone gets the same opportunity.

If you would like to help with fundraisers or would like to know more about local programs, click on this link to the March of Dimes website.