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April 10, 2008
By Jill Stockton
Several Orvis School of Nursing students are issuing a challenge to everyone at the University: Will you ‘March for Babies?’
The March for Babies will take place April 26 at the Sparks Marina. More than one dozen nursing students will attend, representing the Orvis School of Nursing and the University of Nevada, Reno. Registration begins at 7:30 a.m. and the walk opens at 9.
According to March of Dimes, 4,700 babies are born prematurely in Nevada each year; this equals 91 premature births weekly. Of that 91, 54 babies are born at low birthweight, and four of these babies will not live to see their first birthday.
“We are in the middle of a big penny war at Orvis, and we want to challenge other people on campus to get involved,” said Lindy Mitchell, Level 2 nursing student and activities director for the Orvis Student Nurses Association (OSNA). “We want to raise as much money for March of Dimes as we can.”
Team Orvis hopes to raise more than $1,000 for March of Dimes.
The March for Babies, formerly known as WalkAmerica, is the primary fund-raiser for March of Dimes.
“We are so pleased to see these future nurses supporting the March for Babies,” said Gary Fox, communications director for March of Dimes. “All Nevadans should get involved in this event because babies represent the future of our state.”
Currently two University professors, Iain Buxton from the School of Medicine and Grant Mastick from the College of Science, have received grants from March of Dimes to conduct research on the causes of premature birth.
Orvis School of Nursing assistant professor Melinda Hoskins has spearheaded the March for Babies event for the past two years.
“Several Level 2 Orvis students are wrapping up their maternal child semester of course work, which is why the March for Babies appealed to them,” Hoskins said. “Many students have done rotations in neonatal intensive care or the pediatric units of local hospitals, and have experienced the differences related to caring for premature babies and full-term babies, first-hand.”
Orvis students issue a challenge.
“We’d love to see other groups from the University get involved with the March for Babies,” Cherish Beaumont, said Level 2 nursing student and OSNA activities director. “Even if you can’t make it to the walk, we have other ways for people to get involved with this important cause.”
Other March for Babies fund-raising activities taking place include: an April 20 event at the Kietzke Lane Baja Fresh, where 15 percent of all meal purchases will be donated to March of Dimes; an April 20 spaghetti feed at the Little Waldorf Saloon, where approximately 60 percent of profits will be donated to March of Dimes; the opportunity to purchase plush teddy bears dressed in nursing attire; and the chance to purchase awareness feet for $1.
March of Dimes champions the needs of moms and babies in the community and across the nation. The money raised through March for Babies will support lifesaving research, community services, education and advocacy so that one day, hopefully, all babies will be born healthy.