Patriots running back Laurence Maroney and his mother will serve as honorary chairs for Saturday's "Boston March for Babies" walk.
The three-mile walk supports March of Dimes programs so mothers can have healthy, full-term pregnancies and find answers to the serious problems that threaten babies.
Maroney was a natural choice to serve as an honorary chair. He was born premature (Feb. 5, 1985) at just 4 pounds, 7 ounces, and mother and son were separated for 31 days.
"I've never really shared the story with too many people, but now being honorary chair, it's a story I'm happy to tell," Maroney said in a phone interview this morning. "My hope is that it's inspiring to anyone born premature, where they can look at an NFL player and say 'He was born premature, I can still make it.' This is a cause that means a lot to me."
While Maroney is looking forward to Saturday's March for Babies, he's also anxious for his fourth NFL season in New England. He said he's participating fully in the team's offseason program without restrictions, working mostly with fellow running backs Kevin Faulk, Sammy Morris and BenJarvus Green-Ellis (running back Fred Taylor is training in South Florida).
In his first three seasons, Maroney hasn't experienced the type of consistent success he's hoped, in large part due to injuries. But he currently has a clean bill of health and is fueled by those who aren't figuring him into the team's running back plans.
"I'm working hard and feeling good," he said. "Whenever somebody counts you out, you want to show them they're wrong.”