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Defects leading cause of newborn deaths

More than half a million babies are born too soon every year and many die. More than 120,000 babies are born with serious birth defects that can mean a lifetime disability. Thats why the March of Dimes in the Rutland area is working to save babies from premature birththe leading killer of newbornsand from other serious threats to infant health. In Vermont one out of 12 births are premature. The cost is emotionally and financially devastating to Vermont families. WalkAmerica, the walk that saves babies, is the organizations largest fundraiser. Since its beginnings in 1970, it has been the countrys first and best-loved walking event. Vermonts WalkAmerica is taking place on from April 21 to May 12 in 12 different walk sites state wide. The babies in Vermont need our help, said Roger Clapp, March of Dimes, Vermont chapter state director. By being a part of WalkAmerica, Vermonters can help save babies and give hope to families. We can help give all babies the gift of a healthy start. Last year Vermont raised an impressive $345,000 to help find the causes of premature birth. Our goal this year is to reach $400,000, said Clapp. With Vermonts support in WalkAmerica, the March of Dimes conducts top-level research into causes and preventions of premature birth and birth defects. The March of Dimes also brings information and emotional support to families who have had a premature or sick baby who is being treated in a neonatal intensive care unit (NICU). This years Vermont Walk Americas 2007 site in Rutland is at Georgetti Park on April 29. Check in is at 9:30 a.m. and the walk begins at 10 a.m. For more information about WalkAmerica, or to register to walk in Rutland as an individual or with a team visit walkamerica.org, or call/e-mail: 800-696-9255 (toll free) vt478@marchofdimes.com.

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