Sarah Groskreutz was only slightly familiar with the March of Dimes. Then her twins arrived eight weeks early and weighed less than four pounds each. “I found out immediately how important the results of their research would be to my family.” Sarah continues, “Shortly after our son and daughter arrived they were given an injection to combat Respiratory Distress Syndrome (RDS) and one to heal their hearts (Indomethacin). I believe those injections saved their lives.”
One in eight babies born in the US are premature and are at risk of many serious medical complications. One of the most common is RDS. Babies with RDS struggle to breathe because their immature lungs do not produce enough surfactant, a protein that keeps small air sacs in the lungs from collapsing. March of Dimes grantees helped develop surfactant therapy, which was introduced in 1990. Since then, deaths from RDS have been reduced by two-thirds. Another complication is Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV). RSV is a very common and produces cold-like symptoms in adults and healthy children. It can be more serious in young babies, especially those who were born prematurely.
“Our babies were at serious risk for RSV so for their first year they were virtually quarantined from October to April. That was difficult because their grandparents weren’t able to see them for Thanksgiving or Christmas. We did a lot of Skyping, though.”
Although the medical cost of premature birth is twelve times more that that of a full-term birth, the cost to business is even greater. The amount of care required by parents is exceptional and lasts for months.
“My colleagues at O’Meara, Leer, Wagner & Kohl, P.A. are the best! I went on Maternity Leave early, in the middle of August. Everyone at the firm was so concerned for me, and my family. They covered my caseload while I was away and let me work half time so I could gain some sense of normalcy in between hospital visits. I came back to work full-time and rebuilt my practice. I don’t know if some big, downtown, “silk-stocking” firm would have done that for me.”
The March of Dimes has a number of fundraising events in Minnesota. The March for Babies Minneapolis 2012 will be held at Parade Stadium on Sunday, April 29th. Registration begins at 10:00AM with the walk following at 11:00AM.
Sarah concludes, “The March of Dimes is why our children are with us today. I’ve participated in two of their walks, raised money for their research and will do so for the rest of my life.”
About the March of Dimes Foundation
President Franklin Roosevelt’s personal struggle with polio led him to create the National Foundation for Infantile Paralysis at a time when polio was on the rise. Better known as the March of Dimes, the foundation established a polio patient aid program and funded research for vaccines developed by Jonas Salk, MD and Albert Sabin, MD. These vaccines effectively ended epidemic polio in the United States.
Its original mission accomplished, the foundation turned its focus to preventing birth defects and infant mortality. The March of Dimes has led the way to discover the genetic causes of birth defects, to promote newborn screening, and to educate medical professionals and the public about best practices for healthy pregnancy. They have supported research for surfactant therapy to treat respiratory distress and helped initiate the system of regional neonatal intensive care for premature and sick babies. Their recent Folic Acid Campaign achieved a dramatic reduction in the incidence of neural tube defects, birth defects of the brain and spine.
About Sarah Groskreutz
Sarah E. Groskreutz joined O’Meara, Leer, Wagner & Kohl, P.A. in May 2005. She focuses her practice in the area of workers’ compensation defense. In addition, Sarah provides advice to our business clients regarding unemployment matters. She is happy to report that her children are happy, healthy two year-old terrors.
About O’Meara, Leer, Wagner & Kohl, P.A.
O’Meara, Leer, Wagner & Kohl, P.A. is a 30-attorney Civil Litigation law firm based in Minneapolis that has been guiding its clients to effective decisions for more than 35 years. Regularly honored by their peers as the best in the industry, O’Meara, Leer, Wagner & Kohl, P.A. ’s record in business, education and disabilities litigation has helped shape the law and protect important rights. O’Meara, Leer, Wagner & Kohl, P.A.’s major practice groups include Civil Litigation and Employer-Related Workers’ Compensation. Additional areas of emphasis are General & Professional Liability, Insurance Coverage and Defense, Employment, Education, Construction, Toxic & Mass Tort and Transportation.