March for Babies set for Saturday

Published 10:28 am Thursday, April 11, 2013

The annual March for Babies walk is set to take place starting at 9 a.m. Saturday, April 13, at the Holiday Inn in Austin.

The Albert Lea and Austin event will be led this year by the Gooden family of Alden, along with sons, Luke, 2, and infant Owen.

The Goodens are this year’s Ambassador Family for the local March of Dimes chapter, though they’ve participated since 2011.

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Luke was born 12 weeks early via emergency C-section in Rochester after Megan was diagnosed with preeclampsia, a serious form of high blood pressure. Then Luke spent 11 weeks in the hospital before he was able to come home.

“I was pretty emotional,” Megan said earlier this year. “He was this tiny, delicate baby.”

It was 10 days after his birth before she could hold him, and then she spent weeks living at the Ronald McDonald House so she could continue to be near him. Luke’s birth weight was about 2 1⁄2 pounds, and he was 13 inches tall. He was able to go home once he reached 5 pounds.

Local residents are getting together to donate to the cause. Chad Kuehn of Kuehn Motors held a freewill-donation car wash last Saturday, raising more than $500 for the March of Dimes. His 18-year-old son David was born premature.

“It was a great deal to be able to give back,” Kuehn said. “A lot of people are affected by this.”

Registration starts at 8 a.m.

—Kelli Lageson contributed to this report.