One big step for the smallest human kind

March of Dimes hosts walk for premature babies

By: Cari DeLamielleure-Scott | C&G Newspapers | Published April 9, 2015

 At the age of 2, West Bloomfield resident Brin Compton, now 4 years old, was diagnosed with a sensory disorder.

At the age of 2, West Bloomfield resident Brin Compton, now 4 years old, was diagnosed with a sensory disorder.

Photo provided by Terri Compton

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OAKLAND COUNTY — For over three years, Terri and Sean Compton, both of West Bloomfield, tried to conceive.


During that time, Terri had two miscarriages, two ectopic pregnancies and lost their son, Patrick, when she was 17 weeks pregnant.


“I was one of those people who could get pregnant very, very easy. … I just couldn’t carry,” Terri said.


Four-year-old Brin was Terri and Sean’s sixth pregnancy and their little miracle.


At 25 weeks gestation, Terri was diagnosed with severe preeclampsia, and after she spent four weeks on hospital bed rest, doctors decided to deliver Brin through a cesarean section at 29 weeks gestation, Terri said.


“When she was born, she was 1 pound 15 ounces, 10.15 inches in length. We were very fortunate,” Terri said.


Brin spent seven weeks in the neonatal intensive care unit at Beaumont Hospital, Royal Oak, where medical professionals called her “feisty” and a “rock star.”


“From there, she did have to have eye surgery, but we had it very easy compared to a lot of families in the NICU,” Terri said. Terri and Sean took Brin home four weeks before her actual due date.


At the age of 2, Brin was diagnosed with a sensory disorder, and she is currently undergoing occupational therapy and speech therapy while attending Gretchko Elementary School in West Bloomfield.


One in nine babies is born too soon, and raising awareness for premature babies is why the Comptons will once again walk in the March of Dimes’ annual March for Babies in Oakland County.


This year, the Comptons are family ambassadors for the March of Dimes and will tell their story at the walk. Brin will cut the ribbon to start the walk.


The 3-mile Oakland County walk is the second-largest March for Babies walk in Michigan and takes place at Oakland University on April 26. Registration and family-friendly activities begin at 9 a.m., and Elsa from Disney’s “Frozen” will make an appearance, according to Angela Robinson, March of Dimes’ executive director for metro Detroit.


Walkers will take their first steps for premature babies at 10 a.m. Pets are also permitted to participate.


“You don’t know until you go through it or you’re close to someone who goes through it,” Terri said, referring to premature birth. “It has affected us where we want to make a difference. We want people to know what resources are available out there.”


The March of Dimes was the first charity to hold a “walk-athon” and has been advocating for premature babies through the walk since 1970. The event began with high school and elementary school students collecting 10 cents per mile, for up to 20 miles. But the March for Babies has evolved into a fundraiser where families that are personally affected by the March of Dimes’ mission, and businesses, are the two biggest contributors.


For the metro Detroit walks, the March of Dimes Michigan is hoping to raise $1.4 million, Robinson said. Last year, the walks across metro Detroit raised over $1.3 million, and the Oakland County walk raised $521,780, Robinson said.


“I think the best reason for people to participate is you are making a difference and making sure babies in Oakland County have an opportunity for a healthy start,” Robinson said. In Michigan, 78 cents of every dollar raised goes toward community service projects, education, research and advocacy.


“The walks are always wonderful … but what I like about them is they bring knowledge to people,” Terri said. “I think a lot of people aren’t aware about what they can really do to help.”


To raise money for the March of Dimes, Brin’s team — Team Brinzilla — has been using a variety of fundraising tactics. Terri said she posts their fundraising page on social media sites, visits local businesses to hang up fliers, and sends out emails to raise donations. They have even put a sign in their front yard to raise awareness in the neighborhood.


To donate to Team Brinzilla, visit www.marchforbabies.org and search for Team Brinzilla.


To learn more about the March of Dimes, visit www.marchofdimes.org.

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