March of Dimes Celebrates 75 Years of Service
FRUITA, Colo.- An organization that has helped improve the lives of countless of babies is hitting a milestone. The March of Dimes is celebrating their 75th anniversary this year.
Their mission is to improve the health of babies by preventing birth defects, infant mortality and premature births.
According to officials, 1 in 10 Colorado babies are born premature.
“So we know there is an issue and we are here to continue that legacy and fight for 75 more years,” said Terri Jones, division director.
Terri says the organization saved her own son’s life when he was born 8 weeks premature.
“It was a very scary situation. We were petrified,” said Terri.
Though parents Jason and Terri Jones weren't ready, the work of the March of Dimes was, the new parents just didn't know it yet.
“Tai was on feeding tubes and had to have help breathing,” said Terri. “We had dips and bad days and good days, but he's a fighter.”
Terri said all she and her husband could do at that point was rely on the doctors and medical advancements to save her newborn.
Tai is now a healthy 8-year-old boy who attends Rimrock Elementary. However, he received all sorts of care as an infant, including a steroid the new parents were unfamiliar with.
“It increases their lung capability when they were born too soon,” said Terri. “It was developed by March of Dimes researchers and March of Dimes scientists. That is what saved his life.”
“He might not have been here without the March of Dimes,” said Jason Jones, Tai’s dad. “The drugs, the training and the doctors, everything that he received while he was at Saint Mary’s, are really why he is here.”
So Terri got involved in the organization, after learning the March of Dimes were the reason her baby boy was going to be ok. Three years ago, she even took over as western slope division director.
“My life now is because of an experience that we had,” said Terri. “An unplanned experience but it has lead to me know that I want to help others families.”
Terri says she doesn't want people to go through what her family went through, for children shouldn't have to start out their life that way.
“They should be healthy from day one,” said Terri “And moms should be educated on how to do that.”
So an unexpected journey ends happily for this family, and many to come.
The March of Dimes plans to hold a kickoff event Tuesday, February 12 at 5:30 p.n. at Allen Unique Auto to celebrate their anniversary. It is located at 2285 River Road, in Grand Junction.