Maine’s March of Dimes Chapter Receives “A” Grade 

Ashley Thornton and Angela Gibney are co-workers at the Lewis Libby School in Milford, they also work together to raise money for the March of Dimes.Thornton said, “We started it because I personally had had a loss. My daughter was born at 30 weeks and we also had another co-worker who had lost a child at 29 weeks, so we decided to make a team.”Their team is one of the top fundraisers in the state. They joined other top fundraising teams, like “Reese’s Rebels,” at the first annual Breakfast for Babies on Tuesday morning. “My daughter Reese was born at 33 weeks and without the help of the March of Dimes she may not be here today,” said Andi Denis, a member of the team “Reese’s Rebels.”The money these teams raised might be one reason why Maine’s chapter of the March of Dimes is successful. Maine is one of only four states that was given an “A” this year on the March of Dimes Premature Birth Report Card. To get that grade, states had to meet the national March of Dimes goal of a preterm birth rate of 9.2%.State Director Erin O’Connor announced the good news at the breakfast.”We feel like we’ve really made some enormous strides across the state of Maine. We’ve seen progressive decline rates of pre-term birth since the March of Dimes has started reporting and we’re really excited to move forward. There’s lots of work still to be done,” said O’Connor Jones.The organization is working on smoking prevention, improving access to healthcare for women, and encouraging mothers to wait until their baby is full-term. Denis said, “I don’t want any other parent to have to go through what we went through.”