Ask most moms-to-be whether they want a boy or a girl, and they often say: “It doesn’t matter, as long as it’s healthy.” But each year, worldwide, 15 million babies are born too soon, and one million of them die before their first birthday.
The March of Dimes is working to help moms have full-term pregnancies and healthy babies, and I’m proud to support their efforts. Our mission is to prevent birth defects, premature birth and infant mortality. For more than 75 years the March of Dimes has supported research and educational programs to help more babies get a healthy start in life. But there is still much work to be done.
November is Prematurity Awareness Month. On Nov. 6, the March of Dimes issued the 2014 Premature Birth Report Card, and South Carolina received a D again. Preterm birth is the leading cause of newborn death, and babies who survive an early birth face serious health challenges and learning disabilities.
Today in Columbia, the Governor’s Mansion will “light it up purple” for World Prematurity Day to raise awareness about the need to give more babies a healthy start by preventing preterm birth.
On Thursday, the March of Dimes will host the African-American Achievement Award luncheon, and my family and I are honored to be this year's honorees. This event helps raise awareness about the disparities of preterm birth in the African-American community and raises funds to help the March of Dimes work for stronger, healthier babies.
Visit marchofdimes.org/southcarolina for event information and to find out how you can help increase awareness through your social and business networks.
March of Dimes African American Achievement Award honoree