Thousands Walk in "March for Babies" 2014 - WICU12 HD WSEE Erie, PA News, Sports, Weather and Events

Thousands Walk in "March for Babies" 2014

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"March for Babies" kicks of Saturday afternoon "March for Babies" kicks of Saturday afternoon
 The Erie community made a huge effort on Saturday to help babies be born healthy in March of Dimes' annual March for Babies walk.

A sea of 3,500 people all marched for that same cause. Many of families walking have been directly impacted by the "March of Dimes."

The Lyons family is this year's ambassador family. Now seven-year-old Amelia Lyons was just 1 pound 9 ounces when she was born just

"She looked bad, there were tubes going through her nose. I didn't like it," said Amelia's older brother, Noah.

"When Amelia was born, her lungs weren't developed very well. She was 26 weeks old and it was hard to breathe," said Jim Lyons. "The medicines they developed really helped her be able to survive," he said.

One in 9 babies in the US are born premature. Those walking on Saturday joined the effort to help bring that ratio down, and help ensure that babies who are born pre-term have a chance to grow up healthy.

With so many kids impacted, the walk also drew support from organizations throughout the community. Lilly Broadcasting's own Amanda Post kicked off the walk with the national anthem. Then the crowd marched, celebrating the babies who've grown into happy, healthy kids.

"Just watching and seeing how they've grown and how healthy they are, you might never know that maybe they were born early or too small," said Debbie Burbules, vice president of ambulatory and women's services at UPMC Hamot and this year's walk chair.

Others walked to honor the babies who didn't survive.

"My sister had a baby in 2008 who didn't make it. Peyton Rizzo, we walk for her every year," said Kristen Weaver of Northeast.
"It means a lot to us. Everyone comes out to support all babies and the baby that we lost," said Kasey Rizzo. "And it gives us a chance to come out to celebrate Peyton and remember her," Rizzo said.

The community effort to create a better future raised more than $316,000 for the March of Dimes.

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