Walking to save lives

By: Emi FitzGerald Email
By: Emi FitzGerald Email

A March of Dimes study says hundreds of thousands of babies are born with birth defects with half a million more born premature each year. Millions nationwide walked for America today including several hundreds in our area. For many, this issue hits close to home.

“We always have a great turnout in Grayson county it's a beautiful day today, we’re very excited about it,” said Grayson County sheriff Keith Gary, the event chairman.

They're stretching and warming up, getting strollers ready to Walk for America. Doctor Vernon Johnson is a local pediatrician and chairman of the red river March of Dimes chapter. Fifteen years ago, his daughter was born premature.

“Even though my wife and daughter had the best care available she was still born premature and underweight so we feel very passionate about this cause,” Johnson said.

His daughter is healthy now, but Johnson says caring for babies struggling to survive is costly.

“You can't put a price on a baby but in reality it takes a lot of money to care for a child born premature,” Johnson said.

Other walkers like Veronica Mclinsky say although her children were born healthy, walking these three miles around Loy Lake Park is the least she can do to help other children in the future.

"The girls have gone on walks to raise money and we plan to raise more money as well,” Mclinsky said.

On the other side of the Red River, hundreds of people in Ardmore walked for America as well. They hope more children can enter the world healthy and on time.

Grayson County event organizers say they expect to reach their goal of raising $155,000 dollars. The Ardmore walk for life exceeded their goal, raising 185-thousand dollars.


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