March for Babies April 27: Every step counts

On April 27, families from all over the city will hit the pavement to raise critical funds to improve the health of mothers and babies as part of the annual March of Dimes Foundation’s March for Babies walk.

Over the last 30 years, Baylor College of Medicine has been a big benefactor of the March of Dimes mission, having received $14.5 million in grant funding.

Every participants’ step — past and future — supports organizations like Baylor to help moms have full-term pregnancies and research the problems that threaten the health of babies.

Baylor College of Medicine and Texas Children’s Pavilion for Women have joined forces for the annual event to host one large team. Texas Children’s Pavilion for Women is a local sponsor for the event.

“The March of Dimes often provides the initial funds to researchers that allows them to start new and innovative projects that investigate the causes of birth defects and preterm birth that may not be fundable through other mechanisms,” said Dr. Ignatia Van Den Veyver, professor and vice chair for research in obstetrics and gynecology at Baylor and Texas Children’s Pavilion for Women. “Preterm birth is a significant problem even in modern obstetrics; it touches more families than many people realize. The March of Dimes also supports clinical programs and initiatives to improve care of pregnant women. These programs are already reducing the rate of preterm birth, but much more needs to be done.”

When you walk in the March for Babies, or support somebody else who walks, you will help make a difference. Every step counts, Van Den Veyver said.

“The March of Dimes chapter of Houston has been extremely supportive of the research in the Texas Medical Center, as they have provided funds to help recruit students in the Graduate Program in Developmental Biology at Baylor,” said Dr. Hugo Bellen, professor and director of the Baylor Program in Developmental Biology, a Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator and the March of Dimes Chair in Developmental Biology at Baylor. “In addition, many young investigators have relied on support of the MOD to jumpstart their career.  The support of March of Dimes often provides young researchers with the boost and confidence to apply for other important funding sources.”

Bellen encouraged people to join the Baylor/Texas Children’s team for the walk and help raise support for the March of Dimes.

The walk will be held at the University of Houston (2400 Calhoun, 77024). Registration begins at 8 a.m. The walk will start at 9 a.m.

To join the Baylor team – a sub-team of the Texas Children’s Pavilion for Women team — visit www.marchforbabies.org/team/bcm and click the tab for “Join this team.” You can also donate to the team directly from this site. For more information about the Baylor sub-team, contact Necole Fielder at vnfield@bcm.edu or 832-826-7450.

- Glenna Picton

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