Brownstown boy March of Dimes Ambassador

By on June 8, 2016
Riley Mull is the new ambassador for the March of Dimes.

Riley Mull is the new ambassador for the March of Dimes.

Riley Mull, a student at Diamond Street Early Childhood Center, is the March of Dimes Ambassador for Lancaster County.

Riley was born nine weeks early on June 7, 2012, weighing just 2 pounds, 14 ounces. Riley’s prematurity caused breathing problems, vision problems, feeding issues, a premature retina and a hole in his heart. After seven weeks in the Heart of Lancaster’s NICU, he was able to come home to the delight of his parents, Andrea and Max Mull, of Brownstown.

“Thanks to surfactant therapy developed by the March of Dimes and the help of an Early Intervention state grant, Riley is flourishing,” said his mother. “The hole in his heart has resolved and he is doing well. He has had several bouts with croup this year and will be monitored for the possibility of asthma in the future. He is also currently enrolled in early intervention through I.U. 13.”

Riley was enrolled at Diamond Street ECC in November 2015. Executive Director Stephanie Thomas said, “We are so excited to have him here. Diamond Street also provided him a scholarship to attend.”

Thomas came up with the idea to have their very own Walk for Babies, which was held on May 26. “His friends at Diamond Street ECC wanted to celebrate him and help other preemies. Our goal was to raise a total of $1,131, which is the center’s street address.”

Prior to the walk, there was a donut sale and a t-shirt sale. The children also brought in change and donations from others. The walk took place on the Diamond Street property and all the children from the center participated, including infants being pushed in their strollers.

At the conclusion of the walk, it was announced that the $1,131 goal was met!

To ‘celebrate,’ Riley and his mom threw water balloons at some of the center’s staff, which the children and teachers enjoyed watching. There were refreshments followed with some time at the playground.

“The kids really enjoyed doing this and it was a good lesson for them,” said Thomas. “This is the first year we did something like this, and we definitely want to do it again, maybe supporting different charities.”

While this was Thomas’ brainchild, teacher Michelle Landis was in charge of spearheading the event and she did a great job.

“I just recently met Riley. It has been so rewarding getting to know Riley, learning his story and being able to help him and other babies today,” said Landis.

One in 10 babies in the United States is born premature and is the No. 1 cause of death in babies The March of Dimes works to end premature birth and other problems that threaten babies. They help moms have full-term pregnancies and healthy babies. If something goes wrong, they offer information and comfort to families. They research the reasons why babies are born too soon, very sick and work on prevention.



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