The March of Dimes Foundation
The March of Dimes Foundation, or the March of Dimes, is a non-profit organization headquartered in Arlington, Virginia, focused on the health of pregnant women and infants in the US. Former United States president Franklin Delano Roosevelt founded the March of Dimes, then called the National Foundation for Infantile Paralysis, in 1938 to address polio. Polio is a viral illness that infects the spinal cord and may lead to paralysis. Roosevelt contracted polio in 1921, which left him permanently paralyzed from the waist down. During the 1960s, after scientists introduced polio vaccines, March of Dimes shifted its focus to prevent preterm birth and birth defects. As a non-profit organization, March of Dimes provides community service, funds for research, and efforts to educate the public about preterm birth and birth defects. While March of Dimes’ original goal was to help reduce the spread of polio in the US, it was also one of the first organizations to lead a campaign to prevent birth defects and infant mortality.