SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 25, 2016

Family to travel U.S. to raise awareness for March of Dimes

A New Hampshire family that benefited from the March of Dimes will travel the U.S. to raise awareness about preterm birth and birth defects, the organization said on Friday.

The March of Dimes, an organization dedicated to helping mothers and their babies, named six-year-old Aidan Lamothe as its 2014 March of Dimes National Ambassador. Aidan and his parents will travel the country, compliments of United Airlines, to raise awareness of the need to develop programs and conduct research to prevent birth defects and premature birth. Lamothe was born more than 11 weeks too soon.

Long before Aidan was born, his parents David Lamothe and Jill Teeters knew about the March of Dimes' original mission to fight polio. David's uncle had polio as a child and Jill's father was one of the first children to receive the Salk polio vaccine in 1955.

"We've seen first-hand the devastating effects of polio; we know the importance of prevention and we know the March of Dimes history of success," Teeters said. "We also know the impact of preterm birth and are thrilled to support the work the March of Dimes is doing today to help women have full term pregnancies and healthy babies."

Since Aidan was born in 2008, the Lamothe family participated in March for Babies to give thanks for Aidan's good health. March for Babies is the organization's biggest fundraiser to support educational programs to help mothers have healthy, full-term pregnancies.

"Aidan would not be where he is today without the knowledge, equipment and treatments available as a result of research supported by the March of Dimes March for Babies," David Lamothe said. "Volunteering for the March of Dimes has allowed us to give back on behalf of Aidan healthy start and has opened our eyes to the breadth of health issues facing parents and their newborn children."

Most March for Babies events occur in communities throughout the U.S. on April 26 and April 27.