MIDDLESBORO —The Bell County March for babies will take place on Sunday, March 20. Registration for the walk will start at 1:00 p.m., and the march will begin at 2:00. The event is being held at Old Lincoln Park next to Middlesboro Intermediate (East End) School.
Recently, a Fun 4 Kidz Festival was held at the city parking lot in downtown Middlesboro. All the money raised during the event was donated to the March of Dimes.
The March of Dimes uses 77 cents of every dollar raised in March for Babies to support research and programs that help moms have full-term pregnancies and babies begin healthy lives. The mission of the March of Dimes is to find information that prevents birth defects in babies and to fight premature birth.
Many other illnesses are also researched under the March of Dimes umbrella, These include liver disease, childhood leukemia, cystic fibrosis, miscarriages, downs syndrome, autism, SIDS (sudden infant death syndrome), and many more.
This years ambassadors for the Bell County March of Dimes is Eli and Eliyah Burchfield. They are the children of Kristina and Eric Burchfield.
Kristina had a difficult pregnancy with Eli. After he arrived, he had difficulty breathing on his own and was transferred to another facility with a neonatal intensive care unit (NICU). Little Eli got worse on the trip and had to be placed on life support.
One of Eli’s lungs collapsed on his first day of life. He was then placed on another life support machine.
After the family placed a tiny prayer cloth on Eli’s isolette, he began to slowly get better. Kristina was not able to hold her son until he was ten days old. She was finally able to take him home almost a month later.
The pregnancy with Eliyah was also complicated. Kristina went into preterm labor and was placed on bed rest until the delivery. After multiple test, it was discovered that Eliyah was not growing at the rate she way supposed to.
Kristina went into labor at 34 weeks, and she was then transferred from a local hospital to another facility with a NICU. Born at 36 weeks, Little Eliyah was immediately transported to the NICU and placed on a CPAP machine.
Eliyah could breathe on her own, but was doing so slowly. After two weeks, Kristina and Eric were able to bring her home.
Today, Eli suffers from Chronic Lung Disease, and is taking medicine for the condition. Eliyah suffers from a kidney disease, and may have to have surgery in the future.
It is stories like these that explain why it is important to donate to the March of Dimes. Last year’s top national team was the Kmart Corporation. The donated $8,800,000. Farmers Insurance Group was second with $4,200,000.