The following story was submitted by Swedish/Edmonds regarding the upcoming Snohomish County March for Babies walk, which will be held in downtown Edmonds Saturday, April 26. You can find the walk map, registration information and more at this link to our previous story.
Meagan Holt is grateful every day for her curious, happy 16-month-old daughter, Madeline. Because of critical research and support from March of Dimes, Madeline, born at just 28 weeks, is thriving with no issues related to her premature birth. Her story could have been very different. That’s why Meagan is proud to serve as the 2014 Snohomish County March for Babies Ambassador and will join the April 26 March for Babies in Edmonds.
Meagan first went into labor with Madeline at 25 weeks – more than three months early. She was able to maintain the pregnancy with progesterone injections, which helped her reach that important milestone of 28 weeks. In addition, steroid injections helped Madeline’s lungs develop. Though the road was long and Madeline spent three months in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU), March of Dimes was there with comfort and information. “I think the March of Dimes research saved Madeline’s life,” Meagan commented. The specialized treatments in the NICU, developed with research funded by March of Dimes, really helped Madeline have the best chance at a healthy start.
The journey prior to Madeline’s arrival was very challenging, as Meagan suffered three pregnancy losses prior to Madeline’s birth. “I didn’t think we wanted to get pregnant again after all the loss. But with the March of Dimes, I always had hope,” said Meagan.
Hope and courage have been Meagan’s stalwart companions. Although Madeline suffered no ill effects from prematurity, they discovered that she has a rare genetic disorder called Zellwegers Syndrome, which impacts her hearing and eyesight. Now serving as the Snohomish County March for Babies Ambassador, Meagan wants to provide hope to others. “No matter the pregnancy issue, there are resources to help. I want to put a face on infant loss and the challenges of premature births and birth disorders,” commented Meagan.
“Meagan’s story is truly amazing. She brings courage, compassion and a tremendous commitment to helping others in her role as March for Babies Ambassador,” said State Director Jean Allenbach with the March of Dimes Washington Chapter. “I know that working together we will see the day when all babies have a healthy start.”
On average, a baby is born too soon every minute. More than 8,700 of Washington’s babies will be born prematurely this year – David Jaffe, Chief Executive, Swedish/Edmonds and 2014 Snohomish County March for Babies Chair, wants to help change this.
“Challenges like the ones that Meagan and her family have faced are the inspiration for this walk and the work of the March of Dimes,” said Jaffe. “March for Babies gives everyone in our community the chance to join together in working toward stronger, healthier babies and to make a difference in the lives of millions.”
March for Babies is the March of Dimes’ largest fundraiser, with more than 9,000 walkers bringing in more than $1.8 million in Washington state last year.