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December 21, 2014

prematurity

From Anger to Activism: How a March of Dimes PSA Changed My Life

by Laura Malerba Williams, posted Apr 10th 2010 10:00AM
The shot in the public service announcement was unforgettable: an alien-like being hooked up to wires, tubes and monitors with audible whirs of machinery under a glaringly bright light. It's similar to the scene in 'E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial,' after E.T. was captured by government scientists.

Only this "alien" was all too real. This alien was a premature baby, weighing no more than a pound and a half, on life support. The commercial was for the March of Dimes, and the message the spot conveyed was, "This is what happens when you drink and do drugs during your pregnancy."

I was overcome with tears, which quickly turned to sobbing. I had delivered my son 16 weeks prematurely just a few days earlier -- he weighed only one pound, three ounces. He was still in intensive care and I had just been sent home from the hospital without my baby. I connected with that PSA, but at the same time I was extremely offended. That is what had happened to my baby, and I had not done drugs or drunk alcohol during my pregnancy.

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