Last updated: May 06. 2014 8:11PM - 958 Views
By Tanya Chilton tchilton@civitasmedia.com

March For Babies Ambassador Family Gwynn and Mark Pardue hold babies Olivia and Will during the difficult times of battling to keep them alive.
March For Babies Ambassador Family Gwynn and Mark Pardue hold babies Olivia and Will during the difficult times of battling to keep them alive.
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The March of Dimes, Tri-city March For Babies recently was held at Elkin Municipal Park with more than 200 participants, and Mike and Gwynn Pardue were the local Ambassador family.

Co-chairs from PVH Corp. were Nathan Lewis and John Doty in the walk that included communities of Yadkinville, Jonesville and Elkin. Participants closed in on a goal of $40,000 for the cause.

Tri-city March of Dimes representative Jaime Southern said PVH has been a long-time supporter and raises a lot of money for the teams. Lewis has been a major supporter, she said. She called the walks a celebration of all the hard work from the teams and participants that have been part of fundraising.

Southern emphasized the importance of ambassador families and what they do to represent communities in support of babies and research.

“The ambassador is a family that puts a face to our mission to help with premature babies, birth defects or a family that has a baby that has passed away.”

For Elkin and Tri-cities, the Pardues stand as such a family who have turned their loss into an avenue of helping others.

Elkin Ambassador Mike Pardue said, “We have supported the March of Dimes since we had our twins born prematurely on Oct. 2, 2010. William Gray Pardue was 2 pounds, 1 ounce, and Olivia Woods Pardue was 1 pound, 15 ounces, at birth. They were born at 26 weeks of pregnancy. Olivia passed away on Nov. 2, 2010, after having issues with her intestines and emergency surgery to try to save her.”

In the effort, the Pardues’ daughter, Olivia, was transported from Forsyth Neonatal Intensive Care Unit to Brenners Neonatal Intensive Care Unit in the battle to stay alive, and meanwhile, infant Will remained in NICU until Christmas Day.

The Pardues defined the part of the unsettling feelings that accompanied their experience, by saying that “having a child or children in the NICU is a daily roller-coaster ride with many ups and downs.”

Since their loss and painful experience, the Pardues said they are appreciative of the people that make a living in an effort to save these babies.

Now they participate in the March of Dimes as “our way of giving back.” They have participated the last three years and plan to keep up the fight for more research to get babies to full-term pregnancies, they said.

Southern said the walk originally was termed Walk America and was first held in 1970. Since then, the group has raised “$2.3 billion to benefit all babies,” according to http://www.marchforbabies.org.

Overall, the walk’s mission is to raise money to prevent birth defects, premature birth and infant mortality, said Southern.

For those wanting to donate, they may still do so at March of Dimes, Tri-city March for Babies at 410 Brookstown Ave., Winston-Salem, NC 27101. For any questions, one may call Jamie Southern at 336-231-3765.

Tanya Chilton may be reached at 336-835-1513 or on Twitter @TanyaTDC.

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