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Seattle Family Visits a NJ Hospital To Promote Healthy-Birth Research

(Shane, Shalini, and Kieran Wittstruck are the March of Dimes' national ambassador family.  Credit: Cherri Gregg)

(Shane, Shalini, and Kieran Wittstruck are the March of Dimes’ national ambassador family. Credit: Cherri Gregg)

Gregg_Cherrie--NEW Cherri Gregg
Cherri Gregg is the community affairs reporter for KYW Newsr...
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By Cherri Gregg

VOORHEES, N.J. (CBS) — The family of a young boy who spent the first month of his life in a neonatal unit visited a South Jersey hospital today to promote awareness about premature births.

It’s hard to believe that five-year-old Kieran Wittstruck was born weighing just three pounds, one ounce.

Nearly six years after his abrupt entry into the world, he’s smart, he’s healthy, and he’s extremely active.

(Gregg:)  “Are you a good swimmer?”
(Kieran:)  “Yeah — I can swim a whole lap of a pool!”

“We were given a number of issues that Kieran would have, because babies are not meant to be born ten weeks too early,” recalls his mother, Shalini.

Shalini and Shane Wittstruck, of Seattle, say they decided to become the national March of Dimes “ambassador family” to help raise awareness, because the group’s research helped save young Kieran’s life.

“The March of Dimes contributed to the research of a drug called a surfactant,” notes Shane, “and that helped our son come out breathing, even though he was two months early.  That’s a huge hurdle for an infant born that early.  But the March of Dimes, they want healthy births no matter what, if it’s early or full term.”

The March of Dimes will hold its Walk America fundraiser at the Virtua Voorhees Hospital in April. For more information, go to marchofdimes.org.

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