The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

February 28, 2013

Hudson DePriest steals show at the 2013 March for Babies kickoff event

By Phyllis Zorn, Staff Writer
Enid News and Eagle

ENID, Okla. — At 17 months old, Hudson DePriest has no lingering signs of having made his appearance into the world three months premature.

He was born Sept. 11, 2011, at 3 pounds, 3 ounces and 16.5 inches long. Hudson stayed in neonatal intensive care at Integris Baptist Hospital in Oklahoma City nearly two months before he was strong enough to be sent home.

His mother, Barbara Ann DePriest, describes many brain scans, X-rays, and “countless scary breathing episodes” during Hudson’s time in NICU. But eventually, he overcame his challenging start to life, she said.

“He is in the 97th percentile for his height” DePriest said. “His parents laugh when people tell him he is so big. It is because of the incredible NICU team at Integris Baptist Hospital and the medical advancements through the work of March of Dimes that Hudson avoided many of the conditions associated with prematurity.”

Hudson is the 2013 ambassador for the March of Dimes campaign in north central Oklahoma. Picking up balloons and exploring the fellowship hall at Emmanuel Baptist Church, Hudson stole the show at Thursday’s kickoff event for the 2013 March for Babies campaign.

The event was in the theme of a birthday party, to note that March of Dimes celebrates 75 years as an organization this year.

“Many of you are parents of healthy children, and you know what it means to celebrate the birth of a healthy baby,” said Stephanie Soucek, March of Dimes division director. “Every family deserves that. March for Babies is an opportunity to get involved in something that makes a vital, tangible difference in people’s lives.”

Team captains who attended the kickoff picked up materials to launch this year’s campaign to raise money for March of Dimes.

Soucek introduced the teams who raised the most money during last year’s event. Among corporate teams, Farmers District 08-40 raised the most at $11,400. Among family teams, Jonah’s Journey, with team captain Christina Robinson, brought in $6,116.

The March for Babies event will be held April 27 at David Allen Memorial Ballpark. Teams will start fundraising in the weeks leading up to the walk.

Soucek said teams can sign up until April 25. Anyone wanting to sign up a team can contact the North Central Division March of Dimes office by calling (580) 278-2921.