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March for Babies kickoff event set for Thursday

Keeping mothers informed of how to keep themselves and their babies healthy is what Cathy Nash of Tenstrike dedicates much of her time to these days.

Six years ago, her granddaughter, Kaitlyn Ann Nash, was born nine weeks premature, weighing 2 pounds, 9 ounces. After spending more than a month in a newborn intensive care unit, Kaitlyn arrived home Dec. 1, but died 23 days later of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome.

This year, Cathy and a team of family members will walk as ambassadors in honor of Kaitlyn at the March for Babies event April 14 at Bemidji State University's Recreation Center.

The event supports the March of Dimes, a nonprofit organization dedicated to improving the health of babies by preventing birth defects, premature birth and infant mortality.

A kick-off luncheon for the spring event will be held from noon to 1 p.m. Thursday at the Holiday Inn Express, 2422 Ridgeway Ave. NW. Businesses and individuals interested in forming a team for the event are encouraged to attend.

Those planning to attend the luncheon should RSVP to Tracey Bailey at RP Broadcasting at

Returning teams are also invited to attend an open house from 4-6 p.m. at the Holiday Inn Express.

For details about the kick-off event or March for Babies event, contact the March of Dimes' Northland Minnesota Division at 218-727-1318 or visit

Cathy said she is excited her family team will be serving as ambassadors at this year's March for Babies event.

"We take a lot of pride and joy in getting the word out for the March of Dimes," she said.

She described her first March for Babies walk as eye-opening.

"My sister and I went to see what it was about," she said. "We laughed and cried. It was very heartwarming to participate and see people get involved, and also to see how big some of the teams are."

Since her granddaughter's death, Cathy has spent hundreds of hours volunteering to increase awareness of prenatal care to the region and has no intentions of slowing down anytime soon.

"It's important for people to understand the risks of premature birth and to promote healthy pregnancies," she said.