LIHU‘E — The Butay family was named the March of Dimes ambassador family, and will be on hand for the March for Babies team kickoff Feb. 7 at Kukui Grove Center.
Rhextyn Lihau Butay was born prematurely on June 16, 2011, to the Butay ‘ohana at only 28 weeks of pregnancy. He weighed 2 pounds and 11 ounces, and was in the Neo-natal Intensive Care Unit at Kapiolani Medical Center for six weeks.
People can meet Rhextyn, who is now a healthy 20 month old, and mom Puna Butay at the Team Captain Kickoff Feb. 7 at Kukui Grove Starbucks from 7 to 9 a.m.
Anyone who would like to start a Family Team, Company Team or is already registered can pick up a Team Captain packet, meet the ambassador family and receive a $5 Starbucks gift card. Event Coordinator Molly McGrath will be on hand to assist with registration and answer questions about the walk.
The March of Dimes helps local families, such as the Butays, when a pregnancy is headed to a premature delivery. A full-term pregnancy is 40 to 42 weeks. Any baby born prematurely can have under developed lungs, which can lead to respiratory problems, shallow breathing and pneumonia.
Other complications, such as blood infections and digestive distress, make it difficult for the smallest keiki to survive. The March of Dimes has been helping families have healthy babies for 42 years.
With continued research, equipment and volunteer support, moms such as Puna and babies such as Rhextyn are able to benefit from the support and medical advances the March of Dimes provides.
“I’m really excited to be part of this walk,” says McGrath. “I’ve been so impressed with the joy the March of Dimes families have — the joy of having their baby beat so many odds. It’s really an honor to help assist by coordinating this year’s event.”
The March for Babies walk is March 23 and begins at 8 a.m. with registration at 6:45 a.m. at Lydgate Park’s main pavilion.
There will be prizes, food and games for walkers while money is raised to help families.
This year, March of Dimes is celebrating its 75th year.
For more information call McGrath at 268-7262 or email mmcgrath@