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“Proud to be premature,” Tigers for Babies fundraiser supports March of Dimes on Clemson’s campus

When Finn Brookover was born nine weeks early, she weighed 2lbs, 10 oz., was only 15.5 inches long, and had to spend four months in the NICU.
“They were telling us she would probably be born with no chance of survival,” said Corey Brookover, Finn’s mother, “So you’re just kind of in survival mode.” 
Corey and her husband, Dr. Bob Brookover, both professors at Clemson University, are one of many South Carolina families that have had to deal with the stress that accompanies premature birth. 
According to March of Dimes research, 1 in 9 South Carolina births are 
born premature, which means 1 in 9 South Carolina babies are born weak and at increased risk of health defects. 
Corey said during their time in survival mode, the lifeline for her and her husband was non-profit organization, March of Dimes. March of Dimes works to improve the health of families and their babies through research and local community outreach. Their mission is to prevent infant birth defects and mortality and expand access to prenatal care as well as educate healthcare providers and mothers. 
“They’re with you in the NICU. They answer all your questions; they have therapists lined up to work with you and your child in the NICU. And then when you go home, they sort of coordinate the home health,” said Corey, “They make a difference. They really do.”
November 13 will mark the fourth annual  “Tigers for Babies” fundraising 
event for March of Dimes. The day will consist of a 5k run through the Clemson University campus starting and ending at the Esso Club. Although Tigers for Babies has been four-years-running, this is the first time it will be hosted on the Clemson campus.
“Tigers for Babies is an event each fall where Clemson University students as well as the local community have the opportunity to help provide a fighting chance for every baby,” said Katherine Peden, a Clemson graduate who works as a developmental specialist for March of Dimes. “The funds we raise at these events directly benefit the member[s] of Pickens County as well. These are all opportunities to raise funds and awareness of our urgent mission.”
Peden said the 5k will also feature an Esso Club sponsored Awards Tailgate for all runners with free food, drinks and music. 
Also featured at the 5k will be the Brookovers, who serve as the March for Dimes ambassador family in the Clemson area. Finn, now a healthy, “spunky” second grader, will also be in attendance. 
“She’s still the smallest in her class,” Corey said, “but tough.”
The family also participated in the March for Babies—the Pickens March of Dimes walk—last spring. Corey said her second grader who can “out run everyone” loved hosting the walk and that the experience was “rewarding.”
“She’s little, as an ambassador child [for March of Dimes], she can [be] celebrating that,” said Corey, “She was proud to be premature…and say, see, look how far I’ve come.” 
To learn more about or to register for the event go to

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