Burkett Family of Columbia to Serve as 2015 March of Dimes Ambassadors

| Monday, March 23, 2015

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Columbia, SC, March 23, 2015 —

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                                                                           FOR INFORMATION CONTACT: Jacki Garbinsky, 803-403-8523 or [email protected]



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. March for Babies in Columbia will take place on Saturday, April 25 at 9:00 am at The State Fairgrounds. Dr. Percy Mack serves as Chairman for the event.

The Burketts understand firsthand what it can mean if a baby is not born healthy. Karyssa and Kyran were born 11 weeks too soon, weighing just 2 pounds, 11 ounces and 3 pounds, 4 ounces, respectively.  The twins survived their premature birth but needed to spend 55 days in the NICU at Palmetto Health Baptist. Both children started physical therapy at eight months old. Today, while Kyran continues therapy once a week, the twins are healthy Kindergartners. 

The Burketts welcomed baby sister Gemma in 2014. Gemma was born at 36 weeks and spent twelve days in the NICU.

Jason and Talyse Burkett understand the significant role that March of Dimes research played in helping save their babies’ lives. “No parent should have to experience the heart-wrenching journey that happens when a baby is born too soon,” said Talyse Burkett.  “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 a million babies and their families every year including nearly 8,000 babies in South Carolina each year. Babies born too soon struggle to survive and may have lifelong health consequences. The March of Dimes is committed to funding research to find the answers to premature birth and funding local programs to educate healthcare providers and moms-to-be.

Columbia residents can register for March for Babies at www.marchforbabies.org. Funds raised help support lifesaving research and community programs to help more babies have a healthy start in life. “March for Babies day doesn’t take place until April 25 but it’s important to start fundraising now” said Jason Burkett.

Presenting sponsor for the event is Aflac. Additional event sponsors include BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina, AGFirst Farm Credit Bank, SCE&G, Michelin, Publix, Columbia Business Monthly, Palmetto Parent, WLTX and B106.7 FM.

Each year, the South Carolina Chapter of the March of Dimes invests in mission initiatives statewide, including research grants and local community services. Through these program services, the March of Dimes continues working to prevent birth defects and infant death, reduce South Carolina’s premature birth rate, increase access to prenatal care and educate healthcare providers and women about having healthy babies. 

For more than 75 years, moms and babies have benefited from March of Dimes research, education, vaccines, and breakthroughs. Find out how you can help raise funds to prevent premature birth and birth defects by walking in March for Babies at marchforbabies.org. For the latest resources and information, visit marchofdimes.org/southcarolina. Find us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.


About March of Dimes

March of Dimes leads the fight for the health of all moms and babies. We support research, lead programs and provide education and advocacy so that every baby can have the best possible start. Building on a successful 80-year legacy of impact and innovation, we empower every mom and every family.

Visit marchofdimes.org or nacersano.org for more information. Visit shareyourstory.org for comfort and support. Find us on Facebook and follow us on Instagram and Twitter.