March of Dimes continues to make a difference in the lives of newborns and their families

Originally founded in the 1930s when President Franklin Roosevelt led the charge in the fight against polio, the March of Dimes continues to make a difference in the lives of pre-mature and other babies and their families.

Each year the organization hosts its largest fundraiser - the March for Babies - to raise awareness and money to fund much needed research.

KHQA sat down with one of the leaders of the Quincy branch of the March of Dimes to find out more about the vital role this agency has played in all of our lives since 1938.

One of the joys of parenthood is watching your baby discover the wonders of life.

But for some babies the beginning of life comes with some serious challenges.

And that's where the March of Dimes comes in according to JoAnn Lemaster the Community Director for the Quincy branch of the agency.

"Through the past 75 years we've had milestones such as newborn screenings for hearing and vision. And also detecting premature births and birth defects and surfactant therapy for preemie babies," Lemaster explained.

Lemaster says you can't underestimate the importance of making sure babies reach those milestones.

"It's really important. The education, knowing to take your folic acid and conferring with your doctor and taking with your doctor and health care provider is really important to have that healthy outcome for your baby and healthy families," Lemaster said.

Ninety cents of every fundraising dollar that the Illinois chapters of the agency, including Quincy raise through fundraising events, stays in Illinois.

75 years and counting, The March of Dimes continues it's mission to ensure a quality life for all newborns and their families.

"Everybody that's born is touched by the March of Dimes," Lemaster said.