Coastal Empire marches for healthy babies - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

Coastal Empire marches for healthy babies

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SAVANNAH, GA (WTOC) -

A healthy wail -- the first sound most parents hear -- may have gotten old on Saturday's six-mile March of Dimes, March for Babies Savannah walk. But for some families, the sound a memory.

Andre Jenkins' great grandson, Noah, was born more than three months early. He lived for nine days.

"I just told him, ‘You know, champ, if you're tired and need a break, go ahead and take your rest, and go on home, and we'll see you later,'' Andre Jenkins remembered Saturday. "And it was just like that. He opened his eyes and kind of looked at me and made a little smile and took his last breath. I went and told them he was gone.'"

That was a year ago. Noah's mother, 19-year-old A'lexia Jenkins, said back then, she couldn't imagine a future.

"I think I was afraid of life after losing a child and not being able to experience stuff," she said. "But when I got with the March of Dimes, it showed me that there is life, and there's other ways that you can really live outside the box, instead of just being in a shell and crying and grieving, but you can grieve while giving back as well."

Today, A'lexia Jenkins is working at a day care and studying education at Savannah State University, where she's working to organize an on-campus March of Dimes chapter.

The March for Babies walk was a step forward for many families. One family's story showed the strides already made for pre-term babies. Lex, Brody and Collin McHargues are identical triplets born eight weeks early and were ambassadors for today's walk.

"This is how tiny our footprints were," Collin said, pointing to an airbrushed shirt with six tiny footprints that his father made for the walk.

The boys are now hearty, rambunctious 6-year-olds.

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