|In Honor of Preemies Everywhere|
Today is World Prematurity Day and we would like to encourage each of you to take a moment today to remember the preemies we have lost, and honor those still fighting by making a donation to the March of Dimes.
The latest update on prematurity across the globe is not pleasant. When we began Fandom for Preemies two years ago, 13 million children were born prematurely each year. In the last two years, that number has risen by 2 million. That's right. This year alone, 15 million children will be born prematurely. 1.2 million (up from 1 million in 2010) of them will not survive. Equally as heartbreaking: pre-term birth is now the second leading cause of death in children under the age of five.
To put this into perspective:
- More children die simply because they were born early than die from cancer, car accidents, and heart failure.
- 1.2 million is more than the population of Wyoming, Washington D.C., Vermont, North Dakota, Alaska, South Dakota, Delaware, Montana, and Rhode Island.
- Over 50% of these children (the entire population of Washington D.C. or the state of Wyoming) could have been saved had they had access to adequate healthcare.
$5 is a mere drop in the bucket compared to the costs preemies will incur this year. It's one cup of coffee from Starbucks. Less than the cost of one take-out meal at most fast food restaurants. Less than one gallon of gas in many areas. But that $5 can make a difference. It already is.
Despite the rise in pre-term births across the globe, there is good news.
Just a few short years ago, an infant born at 24 weeks gestation had only a 20% chance of survival. With access to adequate healthcare, that chance of survival is now at an all-time high: 50 to 60% of infants born at 24 weeks gestation survive. The survival rate of a micro-preemie receiving care at a high-level NICU is now 30 to 50% higher than those receiving care in a traditional NICU.
Just last week, Ayden was able to talk with the family of twins born at 22 weeks gestation. That means Mom was only 5 and a half months pregnant when she gave birth. A few short years ago, these little ones would not have survived. In fact, a few short years ago, most doctors would not have even attempted to save their lives. Last week, both twins were six days old and still fighting.
That is amazing, and with your help, the survival rate will continue to increase.
If you haven't already, please make your donation to the March of Dimes (or a similar organization fighting in your nation) today. Once done, forward your confirmation to firstname.lastname@example.org so we can send you a copy of the compilation our authors are putting together to say thanks for your commitment to preemies everywhere.
You can make a difference. And we cannot wait to welcome you to the fight.
All the best,
Your Team Captains
(Ayden, Andy, Jen, Leah, Lisa, and Marita)
The March of Dimes, a 501(c)3 non-profit, works to improve the health of babies by preventing birth defects, premature birth, and infant mortality. The organization carries out this mission through research, community services, education and advocacy to save babies' lives. March of Dimes researchers, volunteers, educators, outreach workers and advocates work together to give all babies a fighting chance against the threats to their health: prematurity, birth defects, low birthweight.