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Sherwood first-grader gets out the word about March for Babies

by: TIMES PHOTO: JAIME VALDEZ - Courtney Kliever watches her son, Liam decorate a donation jar for the April 27 March for Babies in Portland.by: TIMES PHOTO: JAIME VALDEZ - Liam Kliever, 7, holds a jar that he decorates to raise funds for the March for Babies. Liam collects money from family and friends, asking them to help save babies born prematurely like he was. When thousands of walkers join the March for Babies walk at the Rose Quarter Commons on April 27, Sherwood’s Liam Kliever will be one of them.

And Liam has had a little experience with such a march.

Last year, Liam, along with Katrina Janowski, was named chapter ambassadors for the annual march.

“He loved it,” recalled his mother, Courtney Kliever.

Liam, who is now 7, got off to a rough start after Kliever contracted E. coli before he was born. The E. coli bacteria caused Liam to get mennegits, which in turn caused pulmonary hypertension.

“And then his little brain started to bleed,” said Kliever. “He had almost the worst brain bleed you can get.”

Arriving 11 weeks early, Liam was placed on a ventilator.

But the energetic Edy Ridge Elementary School School first-grader got through it all.

“With him, it’s just kind of those miracle cases,” said Kliever. “He’s doing great.”

What made both Courtney Kliever and her husband Josh fans of the March of Dimes was that they discovered some of the research use by the March of Dimes helped save their son.

This year, Liam has been helping out by creating donation jars complete with a photo of himself and notes to family and friends asking them to help save babies who are born early like he was.

His mother said he often takes his own money and puts it into jars to fund that goal.

“Last year, Liam took his jars all down to Bank of America in Sherwood and counted out his donations,” said Kliever. “It was such a moment of pride for him and he had a big smile on his face the entire time.”by: COURTNEY KLIEVER  - Liam Kliever had a rough go of it whne he was born, contracting E.coli, meningitis that turned into pulmonary hypertension and resulted in a bleeding brain. He was saved in part by the work of research done by the March of Dimes.

Along the way, Liam has also reached out to another Liam – Liam Jaussi, a Sherwood boy battling brain cancer, donating change to help him out.

Recently, Liam earned a dollar and his mother asked him what he was going to do with it.

“Well mom, I’m going to give it to people who helped me as a baby,” he told his mother.

Meanwhile, Kliever will soon travel to Washington, D.C., to join a group of others to end the overuse and misuse of antibiotics in food and animal production during a day called “Super Moms against Super Bugs.”

Portland’s March for Babies walk is set to begin at 9 a.m. April 27. Visit marchforbabies.org.

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