Helping babies one step at a timeFairview Red Wing Medical Center has always been a strong supporter of the local March for Babies, but this year its CEO, Scott Wordelman, is getting more involved than ever.
By: Regan Carstensen, The Republican Eagle
Fairview Red Wing Medical Center has always been a strong supporter of the local March for Babies, but this year its CEO, Scott Wordelman, is getting more involved than ever.
Wordelman is chairing the March for Babies and has committed to raising $10,000, a quarter of the entire community-wide goal.
“One in 10 of our babies here in Red Wing are born prematurely, and that’s just not acceptable,” Wordelman said. “It takes the whole community working together to ensure moms have healthy pregnancies.”
As the local March of Dimes’ largest fundraiser, the Red Wing March for Babies was able to collect a total of $35,000 in 2011.
“It raises a lot of money for research, education and ways to figure out what’s causing some premature births, and gives resources to other families for when things go wrong,” explained Amanda Bigus, community director for the March of Dimes.
A Hastings couple who were chosen to lead the event this year know firsthand how supportive the organization can be when families are in need.
Brad and Erin Maulucci gave birth to a healthy baby boy about four years ago, but encountered a whole host of problems with their second child in 2010.
While a normal pregnancy extends to about 40 weeks, Erin found herself in labor after only 26.
“When we got to the hospital we were told he would be born in days, not weeks,” she said.
Despite the birth being way ahead of schedule, Erin said it didn’t come as a complete shock because she had been told by doctors to remain on bed rest.
“So at least we kind of had a little bit of a warning,” she said.
The Mauluccis soon welcomed baby Christopher, weighing just 1 pound, 15 ounces. Since he wasn’t able to develop fully before birth, Christopher ran into issues with his heart and his ability to adjust to eating without the use of a tube. But perhaps the most severe problem, Erin said, was the baby’s complications with breathing. That’s where the March of Dimes provided the most support for the Maulucci family.
“The biggest thing was the surfactant therapy right after he was born to help keep his lungs from sticking together,” Erin explained.
Seventy-six days after he was born, Christopher left Children’s of Minnesota in St. Paul and join the rest of his family in Hastings. It’s now 20 months later and the little boy is doing really well, his mom said.
“He has a little bit of a weakened immune system, but we’re pretty blessed. There have been many challenges through the last 16 months, but they have made us a much stronger family,” Erin said.
She and her husband will share their story with those at the March for Babies this year before leading walkers through Colvill Park on Sunday.
More than 100 people attended the event last year, but organizers are hoping for a bigger turnout in 2012 since the fundraising goal is $40,000, $5,000 more than was collected in 2011.
“This campaign gives us the unique opportunity to help our community right from the start, and that starts at birth,” Wordelman said.
If you go…
What: March for Babies
When: Sunday April 29; registration is at noon, walk begins at 1 p.m.
Where: Colvill Park, Red Wing
More info: www.marchforbabies.org