Phoenix March For Babies represents hope, remembrance, and celebration

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One in 11 babies is born too soon in Arizona. On Saturday, March of Dimes held the "March for Babies" outside the state capitol.

The goal was to raise funds and support so that every baby has a fighting chance.

"I went into preterm labor at 25 weeks last year," said Mitzie Warner. "Luckily, I noticed something was wrong and I got myself to the hospital." Warner said doctors tried to delay the process, but baby Dylan was on his way.  

"At 26 weeks I had him, he weighed 1 pound, 8 ounces and doctors didn't know if he would survive, he was so premature," Warner said.

She said the gravity of the situation didn't sink in immediately.

"It was honestly just a blur, and it really took some time to process what had happened, and I didn't know the severity of it until a day later," Warner said.

So many other people walked for babies Saturday, to support families in our community, and help fund life-saving research. 

"My son was a recipient of a medicine called surfactant, which lubricates their lungs and helps them breath," said Andrew Brower.

"Through the research of March of Dimes, that medication was available."

"We want to make sure every baby gets a full 39 weeks, and that we cure as many causes for birth defects as we can through our research," said Julie Ward, the Vice President of Nursing Services at St. Joseph's Hospital. She said 10% of the population is born premature everyday, including her grand babies.

"My daughter had twins born at 30 weeks, almost 12 years ago now," she said. "They were at St. Joe's Dignity Hospital for 59 days, not that we counted."

"I never though preterm labor would have been anything I would have to deal with, but thanks to March of Dimes and their research, they were able to give Dylan a chance to fight for life, and he's thriving a year later because of it," Warner said.

The 2017 March for Babies Phoenix had more than 6,000 attendees that raised more than $600,000 to further the organization's mission.

Copyright 2017 KPHO/KTVK (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.

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