On Saturday, April 25 in downtown Suffolk, close to 300 school employees wearing hot pink team shirts joined the annual March for Babies. Together, they raised more than $23,613!
Congratulations to this year’s top fund-raising schools:
- First Place
… Creekside Elementary School, raising $3,933
- Second Place
… John Yeates Middle School, raising $3,436
- Third Place
… Northern Shores Elementary School, raising $2,650
- Honorable Mentions:
… Pioneer Elementary School, $1,706
… Booker T. Washington Elementary School, $1,633
… Driver Elementary School, $1,612
Did you know that each year, 1 out of every 8 babies is born too early? That’s half a million babies in the United States alone. Premature birth is the leading killer of America’s newborns. Those who survive often have lifelong health problems.
Since 1989, Suffolk Public Schools has fielded a team each year at the March for Babies. Why? First, the school division sees first-hand the impact being born too early can have on a child. Students with special needs share a special place in our hearts. Second, as an employer, the division wants to educate its staff members on the ways to reduce the risk of premature babies in their own families.
This year, the 2015 Suffolk Ambassador is the son of one of our elementary school teachers. Mom Meagan Cunningham shares their story:
Thomas Gray Cunningham was born on June 29, 2014 at 25 weeks gestation. He weighed 1 pound, 7 ounces, and measured only 12 inches long. Since he was 15 weeks early, his eyes were still fused shut. Thomas fought for every breath, facing daily challenges caused by his extreme prematurity. He spent 105 days in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) at Children’s Hospital of the King’s Daughters (CHKD) and came home monitor-free. While in the hospital, he had a number of blood transfusions, and underwent two surgeries. The doctors are unsure as to why Thomas came so early. We are honored to share Thomas’ story to help others understand the seriousness of premature birth and the importance of supporting the March of Dimes’ mission to ensure all babies are born healthy and at full term.