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Stony Brook Long Island Children's Hospital And March Of Dimes Set Ambitious Goals for 2012 "March For Babies"
Event aims to top last year’s totals of more than $300,000 raised by 1,500 walkers

Walkers participate in the 2011 March for Babies at Stony Brook University, which raised more than $300,000, thanks to the participation of an estimated 1,500 walkers. This year’s walk will be held on Sunday, May 6, on the Stony Brook University campus. Registration starts at 8:30 a.m. and the walk begins at 10 a.m.

STONY BROOK, NY, May 1, 2012 – Stony Brook Long Island Children’s Hospital and the March of Dimes have set an ambitious goal for the 2012 March for Babies at Stony Brook University: beating their fundraising result from 2011. Last year’s walk at Stony Brook University raised more than $300,000, thanks to more than 1,500 people who came out to walk.
 
In a return engagement, Stony Brook Children’s will partner with the March of Dimes as the Suffolk County venue for its annual fundraising event, “March for Babies,” on Sunday, May 6. Registration begins at 8:30 a.m., and the walk starts at 10 a.m.
 
Leading the way again as co-chairs of the event will be Margaret M. McGovern, MD, PhD, Professor and Chairman, Department of Pediatrics, Stony Brook School of Medicine, and Physician-in-Chief at Stony Brook Children’s; and J. Gerald Quirk, MD, PhD, Professor, Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Medicine, Stony Brook School of Medicine, who also co-chaired last year’s successful walk.
 
“This event is a wonderful opportunity for our patients to reconnect with each other and with our staff at Stony Brook Children’s,” said Dr. McGovern. “It’s also a great opportunity for the community to learn more about the remarkable care provided here every day for the children of Long Island at Suffolk County’s only children’s hospital.”
 
“Each year the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at Stony Brook Children’s treats more than a thousand premature babies,” Dr. Quirk added. “Participating in the walk is a great way to make a difference in the lives of families like the Theologitises who have been touched deeply and forever by the care we provide.”
 
The main “march” route spans the circumference of the Stony Brook University main campus, beginning at the Athletic Fields adjacent to the new outdoor track facility. A shorter route is also available this year for families with children in strollers or others who prefer a shorter walk.
 
The “ambassador family” for this year’s event is the Theologitis family of Lake Grove. Ann Marie Theologitis gave birth three months prematurely to identical twin sons and a daughter at Stony Brook Children’s in 2010. Although the boys, Niko and Alex, did not survive, her daughter, Ava, survived and thrived, thanks to the expert care in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. Now Theologitis volunteers in the NICU to give back to families who face similar situations.
 
“We were so blessed with the resources that were available to us during the most intense time of our life that I wanted to give back,” Theologitis said. “Today I serve as a resource to women in the NICU going through what I went through. I know what it means. I talk with the other parents; I cry with them, we keep in touch. Although every situation is different, to have someone who has been there walking beside them makes the journey a little easier.”
 
The March of Dimes helps ease the journey for parents of more than half a million babies born prematurely each year, including more than 120,000 babies with serious birth defects. For every dollar a walker raises, the March of Dimes spends 76 cents to support research and programs designed to help babies begin healthy lives. Since 1970, March of Dimes has been walking with its supporters and has raised $1.8 billion.
 
To walk as an individual or to form a team for the May 6 walk, click here.
 
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About Stony Brook Long Island Children’s Hospital:
Established in June 2010, Stony Brook Long Island Children's Hospital is Suffolk County’s only children’s hospital. More than 7,000 children and adolescents are admitted each year. Stony Brook Children’s operates 100 pediatric beds and has more than 100 full-time pediatric physicians and surgeons and over 200 voluntary pediatric faculty members in 30 different specialties. The hospital is the Level 4 Regional Perinatal Center for our area and has a Level 3 Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. It is home to the nation’s first Pediatric Multiple Sclerosis Center and also offers a Pediatric Hematology/Oncology Program, Pediatric Cardiology Program, Pediatric HIV and AIDS Center, Cystic Fibrosis Center and the Cody Center for Autism and Developmental Disabilities. To learn more, visit www.stonybrookchildrens.org.


© Stony Brook University 2012