Hi – my name is Shannon Bazinaw. I have been actively involved in supporting the March of Dimes since 2007. I don’t think anyone realizes how many people are touched by the March of Dimes, many times because they or someone they know had a premature baby, a baby born with a birth defect or a miscarriage. This is where my involvement with the March of Dimes began.
In 2006, after a few years of trying to start a family, we were blessed to learn that utilizing a fertility treatment called insemination, we were expecting our first child. Like every parent, we had so many hopes and dreams for our little one’s arrival. As the pregnancy progressed, we had gone through the normal check-ups until we got to 15 weeks when our doctor identified some test results that led her to believe there may be an issue. We were sent to a specialist at Children’s Hospital in Milwaukee and the ultrasound technician was extremely quiet as she ran through her process. The doctor joined us and quickly communicated that our child had a fairly rare lethal fetal anomaly called Anencephaly. Anencephaly is a serious birth defect in which a baby is born without parts of the brain and skull. Anencephaly happens if the upper part of the neural tube does not close all the way. Centers for Disease Control estimates that each year, about 3 in every 10,000 pregnancies in the United States will have Anencephaly. This means about 1,206 pregnancies are affected by these conditions each year in the United States. The causes of Anencephaly among most infants are unknown. While I was indeed taking a folic acid supplement throughout our journey, getting enough folic acid before and during early pregnancy can help prevent neural tube defects, such as Anencephaly.
My son, Derek came into the world on September 20th, 2006 at 21 weeks gestation and while he was not able to survive the birth process due to the defect, we were able to hold him and say our goodbyes. After Derek was born, I learned of the many ways that the March of Dimes works to discover the genetic causes of birth defects, to promote newborn screenings, and to educate medical professionals and the public about best practices for healthy pregnancy. My reasons for supporting the March of Dimes has only grown over the years. All of the research and education the March of Dimes funds has led to many medical breakthroughs and advancements and has since helped my husband, Jamie and I to welcome our perfectly, precious little rainbow baby, Adison, who was born earlier this year when my water broke the same evening after walking in the Fox Cities March for Babies walk!
I have been a leading fund raiser for numerous March for Babies walks since 2007 and my current employer, Menasha Packaging has been a generous sponsor for both March for Babies and Signature Chefs Auction here in the Fox Valley for a few years now. I can’t think of a better cause to raise money for than improving the health of babies! Your dollars make a difference, so please join me and millions of others around the world to help give EVERY baby a fighting chance and the healthy start in life they deserve!
For any questions, please call or email Alyssa Birkholz at:
Phone: (920) 278-3130