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Our mission is to improve the health of babies by preventing birth defects, premature birth, and infant mortality. We carry out this mission through research, community services, education and advocacy to save babies' lives. March of Dimes researchers, volunteers, educators, outreach workers and advocates work together to give all babies a fighting chance against the threats to their health: prematurity, birth defects, low birthweight.
The first great polio epidemic in the U.S. was in 1916. The disease infected mostly children, killing thousands and leaving many more paralyzed. On a summer day in 1921, Franklin D. Roosevelt became one of its victims and the March of Dimes was born.
Through life saving research we beat polio, but we continue our efforts to help children today by working to save babies from the silent crisis of premature birth.