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Ford CEO Asks Nation to March to Prevent Preterm Birth
Date:3/22/2010

March of Dimes Releases Public Service Announcement Featuring Alan Mulally

WHITE PLAINS, N.Y., March 22 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Ford Motor Company President and Chief Executive Officer Alan Mulally is helping the March of Dimes give all babies a healthy start in life with a new public service announcement being released today.  The video message was developed to support March for Babies -- the March of Dimes largest fundraiser held in support of its goal to help moms have full-term pregnancies and healthy babies.

March for Babies provides the financial support for research and programs to prevent and treat preterm birth. The walking event takes place April 24-25 in more than 900 communities in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico.

"In an average week in the U.S., thousands of babies are born prematurely and many develop lifelong health problems or disabilities," said Mulally, one of the 2010 March for Babies co-chairmen, in the video message. "We are confident that with your help, we can walk together toward a healthier future for our nation's premature babies."

Mulally is working closely with Ron Gettelfinger, president of the United Auto Workers and fellow 2010 March for Babies national co-chairman, to help raise $1 million toward the March for Babies national goal of $100 million.

"Alan Mulally is not only a leader of the automobile industry -- he believes in contributing to a better world," said Dr. Jennifer L. Howse, president of the March of Dimes. "The March of Dimes appreciates Alan's support, and we're confident working with Ron and our 3 million volunteers he will help lead the way to a time when every baby in every community is born healthy."

Premature birth is a leading cause of infant death in the United States, and babies who survive face the risk of serious lifelong health problems, including learning disabilities, cerebral palsy, blindness, hearing loss and other chronic conditions, including asthma. More than 543,000 -- one out of every eight babies -- are born too soon each year. Worldwide, about 13 million babies are born prematurely each year.  

The March of Dimes is the leading nonprofit organization for pregnancy and baby health. The March for Babies is sponsored nationally by the March of Dimes number one corporate supporter Kmart,  Farmers Insurance Group, CIGNA, Continental Airlines, Famous Footwear, FedEx, sanofi pasteur, First Response, and Mission Pharmacal. For more information on March for Babies and a list of event sites, visit marchforbabies.org.

SOURCE March of Dimes

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