March 17, 2014

Titus: a March of Dimes success story

By R. Scott Belzer
Staff Writer

LAUREL COUNTY, Ky. — The London Kmart played its part in helping end premature births on Wednesday afternoon by hosting a collection of like-minded, united businesses dedicated to the cause.

The March of Dimes kickoff was held on Wednesday, March 12 in the home and gardens section of the London Kmart. Teams comprised of local business owners, managers, and concerned citizens joined together for a luncheon and mission statement.

“The goal this year is $40,000,” said Danny Ashlock, director of the Cardinal Division of the March of Dimes. “We know it’s a big goal, but we also know it’s possible.”

The featured ambassador for Wednesday’s event was Titus Partin, the son of Charlie and Jessica Partin. Titus was born seven weeks premature on Aug. 30, 2013. Jessica Partin discussed her experience in having a premature birth, as well as the difficulties she faced emotionally.

“I never expected to be a part of March of Dimes,” Partin said. “I never expected to have any difficulties with my birth. Then I developed a blind spot in one of my eyes. I had no idea that was the beginning of pre-eclampsia.”

Pre-eclamspsia occurs when a pregnant woman develops high blood pressure and protein in the late stages of pregnancy. The only treatment of pre-eclampsia is the induction of labor by a cesarean section – an option Partin was forced to take.

“Before I even had a baby, I toured the NICU (Neonatal Intensive Care Unit), which was very hard to do,” Partin continued. “I watched a grown man holding twins bawling his eyes out. It was hard knowing that within 24 hours I would probably be doing the same thing.”

Partin can also recall how, after Titus’s birth, she would call St. Joseph’s in Lexington every two hours to make sure he was OK. She admits to being one of the most annoying mothers, but is quick to commend the staff in the NICU and the equipment which was used – equipment funded, invented, and implemented by March of Dimes.

“He was only in NICU for two weeks,” Partin said. “We had so many people praying on his behalf; without God, Titus would not be here. He still has digestive issues – like any other premature baby – but his other percentages are normal. We are so thankful.”

The March of Dimes kickoff concluded with a reinforcement of practical goals and exchanging ideas for fundraising. These included selling casual dress days at work to employees to selling opportunities for throwing pies into the faces of business authorities.

The March of Dimes will celebrate its 76th birthday this year. The 2014 Walk for Babies will be held on May 18 at Levi Jackson State Park.  The walk begins at 2 p.m.

To learn more about March of Dimes and how you can participate, visit, find them on Facebook via, or call their office in Somerset at (606) 679-6850.