Julia Roberts Goad
PIKEVILLE, Ky. — The Pike County Fiscal Court passed a proclamation supporting March of Dimes, and heard from some people touched by the organization: the parents and doctor of a premature child.
Jaxon Tate Kinzer visited the Court’s regular meeting in the arms of his parents, Joe and Darah Kinzer, and Jaxon’s doctor, Matthew Todd Hamilton.
Jaxon is this year’s Ambassador Baby for the March of Dimes.
Kinzer told the Court a co-worker had encouraged his fellow employees they should support a charity, such as the Shriner’s Hospital. When he began to consider the March of Dimes, he said he didn’t have a personal connection with the organization.
“I’ll be honest with you, I didn’t know what March of Dimes did,” he said. “When I was in grade school I did the coin drive, and that was about it.
But with the birth of his son last Aug. 25, that changed.
“Then little miracle Jaxon was born last year, one pound fifteen ounces, three and a half months premature, and spent 74 days in the neonatal intensive care unit,” Kinzer said. He said the event caused he and his Darah to search for answers.
“My wife and I have talked since last year why this happened. My wife took great care of herself, she is a nurse,” Kinzer said. “But within the last month, I have come to think that God wanted fDarah and I to become a voice for babies.”
Dr. Matthew Todd Hamilton is Jaxon’s neonatologist. He told the Court the numbers for premature births have not improved in Kentucky or in the nation.
“Nobody knows why babies are born early. Prematurity is a problem that is not going away, it is actually getting worse,” Dr. Hamilton said. “The U.S. is one of the worst developed countries (for prematurity). Kentucky, 20 or 30 years ago was actually better than national averages. But most recent information, from two or three years ago, is that we are the worst.”
Dr. Hamilton said the March of Dimes has a proud history of research and innovation.
“The March of Dimes is a great organization,” he said. “They struck out at first to wipe out polio, and if you are a person my age, we have not had to worry about polio. They put money into research; they funded the people that discovered DNA. Now they fund and do a lot of research to try to find out why babies are born early and what we can do about it.”
The Fiscal Court voted unanimously to pass a resolution supporting the March of Dimes.
“I encourage everybody to look into the March of Dimes, see what they are doing,” Dr. Hamilton said. “They are protecting a part of our population that can’t speak up for themselves. These babies have no representation, they have no voice. They can’t form a committee and go raise funds for themselves.”