Parents thank the March of Dimes after their son is born premature, weighing just 2 lbs

Having healthy babies is something none of us should take for granted.  In fact, each year worldwide, 15-million babies are born prematurely, according to the March of Dimes.

Premature birth is the number one cause of death for babies and for those who survive, there can be long-term health issues.

Elijah Wilkins was born premature at 31 1/2 weeks and weighed just 2 lbs 1 oz.  and spent 96 days in the NICU.   Today Elijah is a busy and happy 6-year-old and his parents, Brittiony and Pete Wilkins says the support they got in the hospital  when Elijah was a baby,  from mentors with the March of Dimes, gave them hope he would survive and one day thrive.

Now 6-years-old, the Wilkins say Elijah is active, inquisitive and loves playing with Legos and Rescue Bots.  His favorite stuffed animal is a koala bear and his favorite thing to do is play in the backyard with his friends.  The Wilkins says Elijah's difficult start wasn't easy on them as parents, and now they want to help give other parents support and hope as they celebrate their sons success.

Pete Wilkins writes, "Brittiony and I were made aware of the March of Dimes through Annette Alling I believe in week one of Elijah’s life.  Annette and her husband Jim had given birth to a son 19 years earlier who too was a preemie.  Their story as well as the others that they connected us to gave us the hope that we both desperately needed.  When you are in a situation like that you need to see others that have been there and see that everything will be okay.  Honestly, Annette and Jim were one of those lifelines for us and can’t thank them enough for just being there and sharing their story and family."

Here's how you can get involved and support the March of Dimes and help their efforts in supporting families like the Wilkins.