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Indianapolis Family Comes Together To End Premature Births 2017 March Of Dimes Ambassador
Updated May 22, 2017 5:53 AM | Filed under: Health
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(INDIANAPOLIS) - The Jenney Family has been through much turmoil when it comes to having children.

Through their story and dedication to the March of Dimes, they have been selected as the 2017 March of Dimes Central Indiana Ambassador Family.

Starting in 2010, the Jenney Family was excited about becoming parents and looking forward to starting their family on their third anniversary. But their baby Ethan arrived unexpectedly at only 32 weeks, weighing 3 lbs. and 10 oz. Ethan was fortunate that he did not have any major complications but spent over five weeks fighting for life in a hospital Newborn Intensive Care Unit (NICU). Two years later, the Jenney's were excited for the arrival of their second son Eli. Even with close monitoring and frequent visits to the High Risk OBGYN, Eli was born at 26 weeks and weighing 1 lb. and 10 oz. After a month of fighting, he developed Necrotizing Enterocolitis and passed away due to complications.

"In the midst of grief, we decided to find something positive to focus on to honor his brief but precious time with us. That is when we formed a 'March for Babies' team in his honor in an effort to raise awareness about prematurity. We have continued volunteering for and participating with the March of Dimes since then to help give ALL babies a fighting chance." says Jeff Jenney. "We are excited to represent the Central Indiana March for Babies. The endless work, support and research of the March of Dimes are essential to help give every baby a fighting chance and a future for a long healthy life."

Like Ethan and Eli, about 380,000 babies - or one in 10 -- are born too soon in the United States each year. In Indiana, over 8,000 babies are born preterm and 600 die before reaching their first birthday. Premature birth (before 37 weeks of pregnancy) is the leading cause of death of babies in the U.S. Those who survive an early birth often face serious and lifelong health problems, including breathing problems, jaundice, vision loss, cerebral palsy and intellectual delays. In addition to the human toll, premature birth accounts for more than $26 billion annually in medical and societal costs.

"The money raised by March for Babies helps give more babies a fighting chance at a healthy start in life," says Jeff Johnson, Executive Director, March of Dimes Central Indiana Market. "The March of Dimes is committed to providing comfort and information to families such the Jenny's Family. By joining March for Babies, you also help fund cutting-edge research to find answers to the unknown causes of premature birth, and new ways to prevent and treat it."

The nation's favorite walking event, March for Babies takes place in 500 communities across the country and involves more than three million people each year. In Indianapolis, March for Babies will take place on Saturday, June, 3rd at 10 a.m. at IUPUI Campus. Register for the event by visiting to sign up to walk; start a team with your company, family, or friends; or donate to help babies survive and thrive.

The March of Dimes is the leading nonprofit organization for pregnancy and baby health. For more than 75 years, moms and babies have benefited from March of Dimes research, education, vaccines and breakthroughs. For the latest resources and health information, visit our websites and If you have been affected by prematurity or birth defects, visit our community to find comfort and support. Find us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

The 2017 March for Babies is sponsored nationally by Kmart, Famous Footwear, Macy's, Cigna, and HCA. In our community, March for Babies is sponsored by St. Vincent Hospital, UAW, MCL Restaurant & Bakery, Geodis, Anthem, Geico Insurance, Riley Children's Health, and High Point and Fox59.

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