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Help support the St. Charles NICU March for Babies team

Author: By Sara Mosher, 2/11/2014 12:00:00 AM

Help support the St. Charles NICU March for Babies team

Each year, thousands of babies are born too early, too small or too sick to survive on their own. In Deschutes County, we see one in nine babies needing support after birth in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. St. Charles Bend is the home to the only high-risk NICU east of the Cascade Mountains and cares for more than 200 babies a year from all over Central and Eastern Oregon. Because St. Charles sees firsthand the physical, emotional and financial impact a NICU hospitalization has on families, the organization teams up with the March of Dimes to raise awareness and fundraising dollars to help the March of Dimes Mission of, "Finding a day when all babies are born healthy!"

Since 2003, the caregivers working in our local NICU have created a team to participate in the annual March for Babies event here in Central Oregon; a March of Dimes event that occurs on the same day in cities all across the country. Each year, not only does the St. Charles team get bigger, but the number of other teams that join the event grows as well. In 2013, more than 500 walkers celebrated our community’s tiniest patients.

The walk is a fun, easy, family friendly event that begins and ends at Riverbend Park. The event starts with group photos and a warm up before the participants start the 3.1-mile river trail walk. Walkers stop at check points along the way to pick up fun freebies from supporting companies and vendors. To celebrate the completion of the walk, participants are invited to stay for a free BBQ, live music and other family fun activities.

There is no cost to participate, but donations are highly encouraged. These dollars go right to the March of Dimes mission with proceeds supporting the Oregon and Southwest Washington regions. If you would like to know more about the walk, visit www.marchforbabies.org/team/stcharleshealthcare.

Feel free to join the team and/or make a secure tax-deductible donation. We would love to see you April 26 for this fun community event!

Sara Mosher served as an NICU Family Support Specialist in the Bend NICU for 5 years and is now serving as a supervisor in care coordination.