Bertram Rantin

Columbia family named 2015 March of Dimes ambassadors

Jason and Talyse Burkett and their children, Karyssa, Kyran, and Gemma are serving as Columbia’s 2015 March for Babies Ambassador Family.
Jason and Talyse Burkett and their children, Karyssa, Kyran, and Gemma are serving as Columbia’s 2015 March for Babies Ambassador Family. Provided photograph

A Columbia family who has experienced the challenges of premature birth will be front and center in this year’s campaign for healthy babies.

Jason and Talyse Burkett and their children, Karyssa, Kyran, and Gemma, are serving as Columbia’s 2015 March for Babies Ambassador Family to help raise awareness about the lifesaving work of the March of Dimes.

This year’s March for Babies will be held at 9 a.m. April 25 at the S.C State Fairgrounds in Columbia.

The Burketts know well what it can mean if a baby is born prematurely. Their oldest children, Karyssa and Kyran, were born 11 weeks too soon, and weighed 2 pounds 11 ounces and 3 pounds 4 ounces, respectively. The twins – now in kindergarten – had to spend 55 days in the NICU at Palmetto Health Baptist and both started physical therapy when they were 8 months old. Today, Kyran continues therapy once a week.

The Burketts youngest child, Gemma was born after 36 weeks last year and spent 12 days in the NICU.

“No parent should have to experience the heart-wrenching journey that happens when a baby is born too soon,” Talyse Burkett said. “That’s why we’re honored to have this opportunity to help the March of Dimes continue working for stronger, healthier babies.”

Premature birth touches half-million babies and their families each year including nearly 8,000 babies in South Carolina each year.

Funds raised through March for Babies help support lifesaving research and community programs to help more babies have a healthy start in life. To register for the march, visit marchforbabies.org.

Richland County Sheriff’s deputy honored for bravery

American Legion Post 182 recently presented Richland County sheriff’s Deputy Senior Cpl. James Gore, its Lifesaver Award.

Gore was honored for his actions on the morning of Sept. 10 last year.

He was flagged down by a citizen and told that a man was on the Spears Creek I-20 overpass with a rope tied around his neck and was about to jump off the bridge. When James made contact, the man said that he did not want to live anymore.

James listened to the man and eventually grabbed him and pulled him off the bridge railing and onto the safety of the sidewalk.

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