Darrah Birth is clearly proud of her two-year-old son, Jax. “He’s perfect,” she said, then adding in the next breath, “he’s a mess.”

Darrah Birth is clearly proud of her two-year-old son, Jax.

“He’s perfect,” she said, then adding in the next breath, “he’s a mess.”

Birth was a featured speaker Thursday at the March of Dimes’ 2009 kickoff meeting for March for Babies at Dornick Hills Country Club, where she told attendees about her own experience with her son’s premature birth. The March of Dimes mission is to prevent birth defects and premature births and reduce infant mortality rates.

The Ardmore Middle School teacher said everything was normal up until the time her water broke 29 weeks into her pregnancy. Her physician, Dr. Troy Lehman, sent Birth and her husband, Zach, to Baylor University Medical Center in Dallas where she was admitted and spent a month in bed.

Jax was born seven weeks early and spent three and a half weeks in the hospital before his parents could take him home.

“We feel so blessed,” she said. “He was perfect. If it wasn’t for the March of Dimes and the research they do, Jax might not be here today.”

Organizers said this year’s March for Babies is scheduled for 10 a.m. on April 25 in Ardmore’s Central Park. Riley and Jane Seals are the 2009 March co-chairs.

“It was an easy decision for us. We have a son who was born with a birth defect,” Riley Seals said. “It is our pleasure to lead this year’s campaign.”

“More than $1.9 billion has been raised since the first walk in 1970,” Jane Seals said. “We want to get all babies off to the best start possible.”

New officers for the Arbuckle Division Board of Directors for 2009 are chair: Tracy Morehead, Regional Vice-President of MTC Federal Credit Union; vice chair, Brandon Twyford, Assistant Vice President Citizen Bank and Trust; and Cindy Crane, Research Assistant for the Noble Foundation.

Top walkers for 2008 include Tonya Briscoe, Brenda Jagger, Louise Daniels, Belinda Williams, Elizabeth Williams, Terry Gardner, Dr. Asusena Morales, Barbara Jackson, Stephanie Marris, LuAnne Johnson and Melissa Woolly.

Top teams for 2008 include Michelin North America, Plainview Schools, Ardmore City Schools, Noble Foundation, Mercy Memorial Health Center, American National Bank, Lone Grove Schools, Landmark Bank/Oak Hall, Farmers Insurance/Rudd Agency, Dollar General Corporation and Ladies Workout Express.

Anyone who wants to volunteer or become a team contact should contact division director Nancy Miller at (580) 223-4781.