Thomasville-- Premature birth is the second leading cause of death in infants in the state of Georgia, and 340 babies are born pre term on an average week. The March of Dimes organization is trying to curb those statistics. One way is by raising money for research through a walk-a-thon. The campaign for Walk America 2007 kicked off today in Thomasville.
Like most expecting parents, Kim and Donald Davis had nothing but high hopes for the birth of their child. "Originally had just had a wonderful pregnancy, beautiful pregnancy no problems whatsoever," said Kim Davis.
But without warning, Kim went into pre-term labor. Donald Davis III was born April 11th 2004, 8 weeks early and weighing only 4 pounds, 2 ounces.
"Its a difficult process, even after you go home, what you have to go through with a premature child," said Donald Davis Jr. The first two years of Donald's life were racked with health problems, but the Davis's say the worst is over.
Donald is a healthy, active 3 year old now. They say they owe a lot of it to March of Dimes. "If it weren't for a lot of the work, the research, that the march of dimes does, we probably wouldn't have our little boy," said Donald Davis.
The money that they raise goes to fight the steadily rising premature birth rate in this country. "We're trying to fight that, do research to keep these little ones alive, help them come out of this and give them their full 9 months," said the chairman of this years WalkAmerica, Debbie Palmer.
The money March of Dimes raises not only goes to research to find answers, but for equipment to keep the infants alive.
They also try to be there for emotional support. "There's just a lot of information that WalkAmerica and March of Dimes can give couples that are touched by this," said Palmer.
The Davis's are a family who have been affected by it, but encourage everyone to get involved. "You're helping someone else who's having to go through, what we've been through," said Donald Davis.
The March of Dimes WalkAmerica is on May 12th at Thomas University. They're hoping to raise $23,000 this year.