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Six-Year-Old Survivor Fights for Preemies Like Himself
Date:11/9/2009

eeches at March of Dimes events. His father, Lee, says, "Our hearts still skip a beat every time we see Joshua smile, hear him talk and laugh and feel his strong hugs and soft kisses."

Premature birth has increased more than 36 percent in the last 25 years in the United States, and now affects 540,000 babies annually. It is the leading cause of newborn death and costs the nation more than $26 billion annually in health care costs, according to the Institute of Medicine.

As 2010 National Ambassador, Joshua, with his little brother Alex and his parents, will travel the country throughout the year to share his inspiring story and encourage families and companies to join them in making sure all babies get a healthy start in life by participating in March for Babies(R) and other special events.

Continental Airlines will continue to serve as the official airline sponsor of the March of Dimes National Ambassador Program for the 5th consecutive year. Continental President and Chief Operating Officer Jeff Smisek, who will become Chairman and Chief Executive Officer in January 2010, said, "Serving the March of Dimes and our community in this capacity is an honor. We are proud to have the National Ambassador fly with us, and we look forward to taking Joshua and his family to new destinations throughout 2010. We remain committed to the March of Dimes and its goal to prevent birth defects, premature birth and infant mortality and look forward to another successful campaign."

The March of Dimes is the leading nonprofit organization for pregnancy and baby health. For more information, visit marchofdimes.com or its Spanish language Web site at nacersano.org.

To follow Joshua as he travels the country, visit Joshua's blog at marchofdimes.com/JoshFightsforPreemies<
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SOURCE March of Dimes
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