KSLA Warriors Blog: March of Dimes 2012

KSLA News 12 raises over $10K for March of Dimes

KSLA News 12 exceeded their $10,000 goal for the March of Dimes Friday evening.

KSLA News 12 raised $10,403 after the telethon. All the money raised for the March of Dimes will stay in the ArkLaTex to help give premature babies a fighting chance.

March of Dimes teams are gearing up for Saturday's annual walk. It begins at 10 a.m. at the Loyola Sports Complex off Clyde Fant Parkway.

KSLA News 12 would like to thank everyone for donating to the March of Dimes.

Every day, thousands of babies are born too soon, too small and often very sick. Our team is walking in March for Babies because we want to do something about this. We'll be blogging right here about our progress in our Run before the Walk, 2012.

April 13, 2012

Walking into the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit or the NICU is always very emotional for me.  I see the hope and the faith on the faces of parents who are quietly cheerleading on the sidelines for their preemie babies.  I've watched these babies struggle, but what is most rewarding to me is seeing these babies months later after they've overcome adversity.

While I don't have any kids of my own, the March of Dimes has become a fixture in my life.  My co-anchor Pat Simon approached me last year to join him on a campaign to raise money for these sick babies.  I thought RUN????  First run where and how far?  LOL  Well, I took him up on his offer and the "Run Before the Walk" Campaign was born.  We have pledged to run 12 miles per week for six weeks until the March of Dimes Walk on April 28th.

I often think about Baby Samantha and Baby Edyn on our runs. I met them and their parents last year while they were at Willis Knighton-South.  They are no longer with us, but I know they are in heaven cheering us on for the cause.  I continue to keep in touch with their parents.  They are couples with strong faith and I am so blessed that they were able to share their stories with me.

Each year we have a telethon to raise more money for our team.  Tonight (April 13th) is the first of two telethons.  Pat Simon will be live at the General Motors-Shreveport plant. Workers from the plant have volunteered their time to answer the phones.  We need them to RING for these babies.  Help us meet our team's goal of raising $10,000 for the March of Dimes.

You can start donating at 5:00 p.m. by calling the hotline at 318-683-9040!!!  The phone lines will be hot until 7:00 p.m.  Please donate...you'll be glad you did!!!


Little Davis Durrett is one of many babies that are alive today because of the March of Dimes. Davis was born at a tender 26 weeks. The Durretts are this year's March of Dimes ambassador family.

"I had always heard of March of Dimes my whole life but I never understood what they did," says Kathy Durrett, Little Davis' mother.

"That's one of the reasons we want to be a part of it to get the word out because it is such an important organization and they do such wonderful things and without a lot of the developments that they help research and fund, Davis may not be here." 

Davis DurrettAfter 104 long and tiring days under hospital care, the Durretts finally were able to take their son home.

Little Davis is now 14-months-old, strong and energetic thanks to excellent health care and the critical efforts of the March of Dimes.

Friday, March 30, 2012:

We are running before the walk! Special thanks to Susan Brunner and Carter Federal Credit union for hosting our run this morning.

Kevin Roth helped me log 3 more miles. Domonique and I are continuing to raise money and awareness for the March of Dimes. 

We also ask that you donate to the March of Dimes. Thanks!


Baby Jaxson was born 11 weeks early. Since then, it's been a journey of ups and downs for his parents, Melissa Hedin and Jeff Oran.


Baby Jaxson had his first of three surgeries when he was just a week old. The eight-month-old is still in the Willis-Knighton Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. Hedin says Baby Jaxson is continuing to beat the odds in the NICU with a team of doctors and good old fashioned prayer. "I just gave it all to God because if it wasn't for him he wouldn't be here right now," says Hedin.

March of Dimes research has been instrumental in Baby Jaxson's recovery. Many of the machines developed by the organization have helped him survive and the will of his parents to never give up. "It's worth everything because he is here," says Hedin.

Baby Jaxson is now breathing on his own and may be able to go home within the next two months.

Shreveport author Patti Parker says she wants to donate half of the profits from her book, "The Book of Ominook" to help KSLA News 12 raise money for the March of Dimes. "You guys are out there sweating in the hot sun and running, well what can I do? I'm not going to get out there and run but I want to give back. So I am offering 50 percent of all the profits of the sale of Ominook," says Parker.

Parker says the offer is good for the month of April. Parker says "The Book of Ominook" is an inspiring story of trials that children go through and overcome much like the children of the March of Dimes. Parker has two grandchildren that were born premature and says she just wanted to do something to give back.

You can buy a copy of Parker's book at Barnes and Noble and http://www.amazon.com/.

Baby Camden was born at 24 weeks to Catherine and David Orr. Medication and technology developed by the March of Dimes is part of the reason Baby Camden is alive today.

The Orrs say they had no reason to believe there would be complications during Catherine's pregnancy. "Everything seemed fine," says Catherine. Early contractions forced Catherine to go to the hospital. Baby Camden weighed just 1 lb. 10 oz. when he was born.

Baby Camden suffered a grade four brain bleed remaining at Willis-Knighton South for numerous surgeries for 97 days. One of the surgeries was to attach his retina to keep him from going blind. The Orrs almost lost Baby Camden that day. "I remember standing there and thinking watching the color just leave his body, 'He's practically lifeless', says Catherine.

Baby Camden also has cerebral palsy. His food is liquefied because he is not able to chew. The Orrs say it's a work in progress that they hope will get better in time. " It's not an easy thing and it's still not over for us. We still have day to day problems with Camden, health problems that we are still working to overcome," says Catherine.

The Orrs say they knew nothing about the March of Dimes until they had Camden. "We are definitely more educated and want to spread the word and definitely stop babies from being born prematurely," Catherine.