Taking Steps To Give Babies Healthy Start

TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - In a couple weeks, people will lace up their shoes and take steps to help babies get a healthy start in life.

The March of Dimes' March for Babies raises money to prevent premature births and also provide much-needed support when babies do come too soon.

Jaxon Vandeword is one of them. Now age two and a half, his mother, Dawn, says he arrived 14 weeks early, weighing just one pound and three ounces. When she finally got to see him 24 hours after he was born, she says she couldn't believe how small he was.

Jaxon spent 126 days in Stormont-Vail's Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. Dawn describes the time as a roller coaster for her and her husband, with many ups and downs while Jaxon battled breathing problems, seizures, a brain bleed and eating troubles.

The Vandevords found support through the March of Dimes, which partners with Stormont to provide information and emotional support to NICU families. The information continued even after Jaxon finally went home. It was through their work with the March of Dimes that they learned about Easter Seals Capper Foundation. In a year of working with therapists there, Jaxon has started eating some food, developed his motor skills and learned communication methods, even starting to speak some words.

Dawn says Jaxon is persistent. What the future holds, she says, is anyone's guess since he continually surpasses expectations.

Topeka's March for Babies is Friday, May 4th, at the Topeka Zoo. Registration begins at 5 pm and the walk steps off at 6 pm. People can register themselves or a team, or donate to the cause at www.marchforbabies.org.


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