April 27, 2014
Teams of families, friends and supporters took a stroll in Charlottesville on Sunday for the annual March for Babies.
The event benefits the March of Dimes. Teams help raise money to support programs and research to prevent premature births in the community and offer services for those cut short.
Several babies and families directly affected took part in Sunday's events. That's why the Craig family was there.
Mother Brittany Craig credits the March of Dimes for saving her twin daughters' lives.
"Just knowing what they did for us...they're the reason we have them," she said.
While the average baby is carried for about 40 weeks, Craig's daughters, Avery and Sophia, were born at just 28 weeks and spent their first 80 days in UVa.'s neonatal intensive care unit.
"Look at them now," said the twins' dad George Craig. "[They're] wide open, ready to play and as happy as can be."
Patience is another success story. She is the littlest member of this year's ambassador family, The Thomas'.
Patience was delivered at 27 weeks, but at just 14 ounces, she was the size of a 23-week old. Today, she is strong and her parents are thankful.
"[We spent] 102 days in the NICU. We've had heart surgery, some eye procedures, but she's pretty much perfect," said Patience's mom, Jennifer Thomas.
Her husband, Joshua Thomas, says the March of Dimes did a lot of behind-the-scenes work to make the birth happen while the team at UVa. carried it out.
"The doctors and nurses at UVa. are just absolutely incredible," he said. "And without the great work that the March of Dimes does, she wouldn't probably be here."
Every year, nearly half a million babies are born too soon across the country, according to the organization. Since the March of Dimes began, the organization has raised more than $2 billion for support and research.
Sunday's preliminary local fundraising total was about $80,000.