Marching for an end

The Daviess County March of Dimes March for Babies committee wants to give every baby a fighting chance, but to do that, they need your help.

“The March of Dimes is the only preventative health care organization that has solved its problem,” said Mike Ball, development manager for the March of Dimes, as he addressed the group gathered for the annual Daviess County March of Dimes Kickoff Friday at Daviess Community Hospital. “When it was started in 1938 by President Franklin Roosevelt, the goal was to eradicate polio. They were able to do that and then we switched our focus to babies.”

Ball said with premature births being the number one cause of death for babies before their first birthday, there’s a lot for which to fight.

“We’re making strides,” said Ball. “We have offered community programs to help moms-to-be have full-term pregnancies and healthy babies. We advocate for legislation and programs that help moms get the services and care they need. The big one though, is research and it’s not cheap.”

For every dollar raised through March for Babies events, as well as other fundraisers, 76 cents goes to research Ball said.

Dr. Dennis Atienza, a local OB/GYN, said the research conducted by the March of Dimes is beneficial to many, including himself and other OB doctors.

“The research being done really helps our profession,” he said adding it’s difficult to predict what will cause a premature birth. “It helps us help our patients.”

One of the more recent research breakthroughs may have been the use of folic acid.

“In a five-year study, we saw that taking folic acid had decreased instances of neural tube defects 30 percent,” said Ball.

Meet the Ambassador Family

Cory and Honey Combs shared their daughter, Harper’s prematurity story with those on hand for the kickoff.

“At our 28-week check-up, the doctors said everything looked good,” said Cory Combs, as he watched Honey rock a sleeping Harper. “Then on Sunday, Honey started cramping.”

Cory said he took Honey to her one of her favorite places, Fazoli’s, and he knew something was wrong when she didn’t finish her food. Honey, insisted though, that she was fine so the couple returned home. Just a few hours later though, Cory did a little research in hopes of finding some kind of relief for Honey and realized she was in pre-term labor.

“It was probably the scariest thing we’ve ever been through,” he said.

At 8:16 p.m. little Harper Lee Combs, weighing in at just over 3 lbs., made her way into the world.

The Combs said Harper was transferred to St. Mary’s in Evansville where she spent 10 weeks in the NICU.

“The hospitals were all great,” he said, adding that Harper is now 10 lbs., and thriving.

Daviess County March for Babies

The Daviess County March for Babies will be held at the National Guard Armory on May 6.

“Our goal is to raise $18,000 this year in Daviess County,” said Ball, adding that if teams register online, they should search for the Daviess/Knox County event. “It looks like the events are the same day but they aren’t. It’s two different walks with one goal of $60,000.”

Ball said the $18,000 was about what Daviess County raised to help fight premature births last year.

Local organizers hope to make the event one for the whole community to attend this year.

In addition to the walk, area youth will provide entertainment before the walk and other activities are still in the planning stages.

“It’s free for anyone to come out and see what we’re doing,” said Ball adding there is no fee to register to participate in the March for Babies.

In the coming weeks, Ball said registration forms will be available to those who prefer to do their fundraising in a more traditional way.

“We’ll have forms available soon,” he said, adding sponsorship opportunities are still available.

Those with questions on the March for Babies should contact Ball at 812-449-4649.

Looking to form a team?

Visit and search for the Knox/Daviess County event (Once the Knox County event is complete, the name will be changed to Daviess County.)

The Daviess County March for Babies will be held May 6 at the National Guard Armory. Registration will begin at 9 a.m. with the walk beginning at 10 a.m

*Article written by Lindsey Owens and provided by the Washington Times Herald. Visit their website at for more articles!