CLEARFIELD — One-year-old Jameson Woods, who was born 12 weeks premature, will serve as the March of Dimes 2020 Clearfield Region Ambassador.

In 2018, Amanda and Josh Woods were excited about becoming parents and looking forward to starting their family. Their baby, Jameson, was born 12 weeks early, weighing just 2 pounds 2.6 ounces due to a pregnancy complication known as severe preeclampsia.

Baby Jameson suffered from many of the complications that most premature babies of his gestational age deal with, including respiratory distress, oxygen supplementation, jaundice, feeding issues (requiring a feeding tube), and the need for specialized Neonatal Intensive Care. He spent his first 55 days of life in the hospital.

Amanda states that Jameson was a month old before he could wear baby clothes and she could hold him “like a real baby.”

Like Jameson, about 380,000 babies are born too soon in the United States each year. Preterm birth is the leading cause of newborn death, and babies who survive an early birth often face an increased risk of a lifetime of health challenges, such as breathing problems, cerebral palsy, intellectual disabilities and others. Even babies born just a few weeks early have higher rates of hospitalization and illness than full-term infants. It is a serious health problem that cost the United States more than $26 billion annually.

The March of Dimes is committed to reducing this toll by funding research to find the causes of premature birth and providing comfort and information to families. The Woods family’s story and their volunteer work for the March of Dimes stand as living proof of the life-saving measures supported and developed as a result of the organization’s commitment to research and educational programs to help give all babies a healthy start in life. They hope their story can provide promise for other families and help the March of Dimes give every baby a fighting chance.

The Clearfield Region March for Babies kickoff event is scheduled for today, Wednesday, Feb. 5 at 6 p.m. at Moena Restaurant in Clearfield. Businesses, groups/organizations and individuals interested in participating in March for Babies should attend this informative event.

Contact Community Director Pam Koozer 765-1458, pkoozer@marchofdimes.com for more information.

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