March of Dimes will be honoring premature babies and those lost to prematurity in the Greencastle area with a prematurity roll call and candlelight vigil on Thursday, Nov. 16 at 7 p.m. at Blackstock Stadium.
The March of Dimes is a national voluntary health agency whose mission is to improve the health of babies by preventing birth defects and infant mortality.
Founded in 1938, the March of Dimes funds programs of research, community services, education and advocacy to save babies and in 2003 launched a five year campaign to address the increasing rate of premature birth.
The Prematurity Roll Call includes reading the names and birth dates of children born prematurely. When each name is read, a candle will be lit. They will also honor those babies lost to prematurity by naming them with their birth date and the day they were lost.
"The Prematurity Roll Call helps bring awareness to this infant health crisis," said Nikki Simpson, Division Director of the March of Dimes. "Unless you've spent time in a neonatal intensive care unit you may not understand the struggle, the fight these newborns have to endure."
Babies born prematurely are born sick and suffer many disabilities, which is a fight some babies lose.
According to Simpson, the number one cause of newborn death is prematurity. "We hope to one day find a prevention for premature birth and awareness of the problem is key," Simpson said.
To include a child born prematurely in the roll call on Thursday, call 812-234-2736 or 800-941-9255, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information about the March of Dimes organization, visit its website at marchofdimes.com or its Spanish website at nacersano.org.