BREWER, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- Reese Lanpher was born prematurely at 33 weeks, spending her first 24 days in the neonatal intensive care unit. Mom Andi Lanpher says 16 months later Reese is healthy and well, joining Reese's Rebels at an event supporting March of Dimes.
"Its important for us to be out here and walk and support this cause and try to raise awareness and hope that no one else will ever have to do this again. I don't want any other family to go through what we went through," said Andi Lanpher.
March of Dimes selected the Lanpher family as the 2013 Ambassador Family for the Bangor Region. "Being the ambassador family is a huge honor. We are so blessed, it's just great. I hope we represent March of Dimes well and we will continue to be out here and walk and encourage people to join us. It's awesome," said Lanpher.
Erika Wentworth and her family were last year's ambassador family. She lost her son seven years ago after he was born prematurely. "It was such an honor to us because we've been doing this to keep his memory alive and also to help other moms and babies," said Wentworth.
The three mile march that began and ended at the Brewer Auditorium raised 60-thousand dollars. That money will fund research to try and find answers for pre maturity and birth defects.
"It's helping moms start out with a healthy pregnancy and that's really important too because that's where it starts. These babies start growing in the womb so they have to start healthy pregnancies and then the funding for the immunizations and and the research projects. It's been going on for 75 years now so they've done really good work," said Wentworth.
And that work will continue with the hope that one day all babies will be born healthy.