Thousands of families and local business leaders will join together on May 13 at Toyota Field for the 2017 March for Babies, the nation’s oldest fundraising walk, which helps more babies survive and thrive.

This year’s San Antonio Ambassador Family is 9-year-old Shelby Henderson. Paralegal Lisa Lyse Henderson was preparing for court when her water broke. Her baby Shelby arrived unexpectedly at only 26 weeks, weighing 2 pounds 2 ounces. Her lungs were not fully developed and she needed a blood transfusion. Shelby spent her first three months 18 days fighting for life in a hospital Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU). Lisa credits the March of Dimes for helping her get through that difficult time and today she is dedicated to helping to fund research so others don’t have to experience the same trauma of premature birth.

Ed Belmares, Chief Operating Officer of KFW Engineers + Surveying serves in 2017 as the San Antonio March for Babies chair. Belmares has been a board member with the March of Dimes for six years. “I am delighted to serve in this important role to raise awareness and urgently-needed funds for the March of Dimes mission to prevent birth defects and premature birth.”

On-site registration will begin at 7 a.m. with the 3.1-mile walk kicking off at 8 a.m. San Antonio residents can sign up today at to start a team with co-workers, family or friends; or make a donation to help more babies get a healthy start in life.

“March for Babies is also a memorable and rewarding event for the whole family,” says Belmares. “We celebrate children and parents who experienced the Newborn Intensive Care Unit (NICU) or special care nursery. We’ll recognize these families throughout the day with a Superhero Sprint for kids, complete with a purple cape, a symbolic lei for mom and dad and loads of fun in the kids’ zone.”

“This year for the first time, participants will have the opportunity to walk through our Memory Mile and visit our unforgettable March for Babies Memory Garden. Those who have experienced loss will find a meaningful way to remember their baby by planting a flower in our butterfly garden,” he says.

Premature birth is the leading cause of death among babies in the United States. It affects about 380,000 babies – that’s 1 in 10 – born each year, including 40,992 in Texas. Funds raised by March for Babies in San Antonio support local programs including The March of Dimes Early Entry in Prenatal Care pilot program that works with public health care clinics to have expectant mothers access prenatal care as early as possible, and provide care and support to improve birth outcomes in at-risk populations.

The March of Dimes is the leading nonprofit organization for pregnancy and baby health. For more than 75 years, moms and babies have benefited from March of Dimes research, education, vaccines, and breakthroughs. For the latest resources and health information, visit our websites and If you have been affected by prematurity or birth defects, visit to find comfort and support. For detailed national, state and local perinatal statistics, visit Find us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

The 2017 March for Babies is sponsored nationally by Kmart, Famous Footwear, Macy’s, Cigna, HCA, and regional sponsor Publix Super Markets, Inc. In our community, March for Babies is sponsored by University Health System, HEB, Methodist Health System, Citi, Mednax, Oak Farms Dairy, and Capital Group.