March of Dimes walk strides into Austin

Published 10:32 am Thursday, April 16, 2009

The 2009 March of Dimes fundraising walk for babies begins Saturday morning at Holiday Inn of Austin.

Registration begins with kickoff ceremonies at 8:30 a.m. with the walk getting underway at 9 a.m. When the participants complete the walk, they will be served lunch, when they return to Holiday Inn of Austin from their 6.5 mile walk. The goal of the March of Dimes walk is simple: One day all babies will be born healthy.

Getting there will require baby steps in medical research. The money raised by the March of Dimes organization will, in part, fund that research. Nate Finney, chairperson of the 2009 Austin event, and his volunteer team captains have recruited teams of family members, co-workers, friends, strangers and others who are raising money for the March of Dimes organization that will help fund medical research.

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Finney is hopeful the Austin walk will attract walkers from Albert Lea, where the annual March of Dimes fundraiser has been canceled.

“I’m hopeful we will have more participants Saturday,” Finney said. “Of course, we understand tough economic times will dictate a lot this year.”

“It’s just amazing that all the people at Albert Lea are willing to come over and participate in the walk. We really appreciate that,” Finney said.Finney and his wife, Becky, have four children, ages 16, 12, 6 and 4.

He is a loan officer at Accentra Credit Union in Austin, one of the most generous sponsors of Saturday’s walk. He is taking over the walk chairperson’s duties from Randy Kramer.

This year’s Ambassador Family includes Brian and Tina Quail, Adams, and their children, Cassie and Davin, plus three special people: Triplets Lincoln, Lila and Christian.

The Quails are the face of the reason behind Saturday’s fundraiser.

Tina Quail spent 10-weeks in the hospital before her babies were born.

At the time, doctors were concerned the babies would deliver at 24 or 25 weeks.

The babies were due Feb. 16, 2008.

They were born Dec. 17, 2008 at 31 weeks, 3 days.

Their birth weights were 3 pounds 9 ounces, 2 pounds 1 ounce and 2 pounds 9 ounces.

Their lengths: 15 inches, 14 inches and 14 3/4 inches.

The babies were delivered at Methodist Hospital, Rochester, and then transferred to St. Mary’s Hospital (NCU).

Birth may have been the “easy” part of the Quail triplets’ story.

According to their mother, Lila had absent diastolic flow in her umbilical cord for the last four weeks of the pregnancy.

“On the day the babies were born,” said the mother, “the doctors decided to deliver them because her umbilical cord had changed from absent flow to reverse flow which is more dangerous for the fetus.”

During the last four weeks of the mother’s pregnancy, all Lila ate was what she could drink through her mouth.

She received nothing from the umbilical cord.

“This probably contributed to her being smaller than the boys,” the mother said.

There was more.

Lincoln was born with a Patent Ductus Arteriosis or open blood vessel near the heart and lungs.

The PDA should close within a few days after birth, the mother explained. When it didn’t in Lincoln’s case, surgery was performed, but not before the tiny baby suffered at Necrotizing Enter Colitis intestinal disease.

“This quickly made him very sick,” the mother recalled.

It took 10 more days, but Lincoln finally had the PDA surgery which was successful.

Today, the Quail triplets are all healthy “celebrities” about to be the “stars” of Saturdays March of Dimes walk.

Home Federal Savings Bank of Austin is hosting a Bank Night 5-7 p.m. tonight (Thursday).

Participants in Saturday’s walk may turn over their pledge monies at this time.

The Quail triplets will be in attendance tonight and at Saturday’s walk with their parents and siblings.

Finney was able to attract WalMart Inc. to be a “title sponsor” with a $2,000 donation.

Other big sponsors are Hormel Foods Corporation and Torge’s – Holiday Inn of Austin as well as Accentra Credit Union.

Finney assembled a leadership team of six key members, including hold-overs from last year’s fundraiser and added more volunteers to put together the walk.

“I’ve gotten a lot of cooperation from everyone and I appreciate it,” he said.

“I feel good about our chances to have a good walk Saturday. At least, I’m optimistic,” he said. “To be truthful, we have to think about the economy in connection to this year’s event.”

Finney and his wife and their four daughters will participate in Saturday’s walk.

“I like to give back to the community and my employer, Accentra, allows me to do that,” he said.

Individuals and teams can sign up Saturday morning to participate in this year’s walk.

For more information about participating in the walk or assisting the March of Dimes’ fundraiser, contact Finney at 434-3337.