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Tamera Pfeifer-Partiss

Why I walk

Burying my baby boy Kenny, was the hardest thing that I have EVER had to face. I don't wish this journey on anyone. Our first-born son, Kenny, was stillborn at 38 weeks weighing 7.5 pounds. Much of the March of Dimes research supports finding answers to prevent this. I am eager to raise as much money as I can to help the March of Dimes find answers. I participate in the March of Dimes "March For Babies" every year in memory of every baby that has been lost, for the devastated families that they leave behind, and in memory of Kenny.

Another reason that I walk is to celebrate my niece Ashley. Her story is incredible. The funds we raise in WalkAmerica support research that saves babies' lives. You can read her story below.


After 27 weeks of gestation, I entered the world weighing just 2 lbs., 3 oz. My chance for survival was slim; doctors warned that if I survived, I would live a life wrought with disabilities, the severity of which would only be determined with time. After remaining in neonatal intensive care for months, I departed the hospital, already struggling with fundamental skills. Specialists coaxed my body to walk but could not immediately eradicate my difficulties with balance and coordination. I struggled with speech. My tongue thrust created barriers to correct pronunciation. However, I improved through strenuous daily therapy. Grade three brain bleeds decimated the speed at which I absorbed and responded to information. Lagging processing speed made it difficult to perform tasks in a way that reflected my age and intellect. I required far more time to complete assignments than my peers, though I understood my lessons well. Exacerbating matters, I anticipated hearing my classmates giggle at the results of my tongue thrust: fumbled speech and a buck-toothed smile. Insecurity intensified in athletics: while running, my legs would not cooperate, leading to the moniker "Crazy Legs." I increased my work with physical therapists, steadily progressing to become the fastest runner on my track team. I have never earned below an A in school while taking the most rigorous courses available to me, and I have always ranked near the top of my class. Additionally, I earned a score of 1540 on the new SAT, only taking it once. Research uncovered ways to further improve my processing speed, such as horseback riding. Determination has driven me to two first-place rankings on the national equestrian level and improvement of my processing speed in the process. My steadfastness through painful oral reconstruction and practice with pronunciation paid off, and I mastered adequate compensation for my tongue thrust's effects on speech. My insecurities have vanished. I am now extremely social, and I have a love of public speaking. Though my disabilities seem to have disappeared through hard work and perseverance, I will always feel a special calling to help those in need. Together we can help the March of Dimes fight prematurity so more babies can get the strongest start possible.

Thank you so much for your support! Tamera

Your gift matters

Funds raised in March for Babies support research and programs that help moms have full-term pregnancies and babies begin healthy lives. And they will be used to bring comfort and information to families with a baby in newborn intensive care.

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Saturday, April 28, 2018
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