Flint, TX (KYTX) -- An event next week aims to reduce the number of premature births in East Texas, and tempt your pallet in the process. It's the March of Dimes Signature Chef Gala that helps families like the Johnsons.
Little Anna-Katherine Johnson arrived early at 37 weeks, but measured the same as a 34-week old baby.
"You know the old adage, you pray for the best, prepare for the worst. That's what we had to do," Kevin Johnson said.
This was new territory since his wife Ashley's first pregnancy was typical. She went through an emergency C-section, then got word her 4.7 lb. newborn was facing challenges.
"We had to really manually teach her how to keep her food down," Kevin said.
Fast forward a year, and Anna-Katherine is a typical 1-year-old, laughing and standing.
"She's meeting every single milestone on time if not before she's suppose to," Ashley Johnson said.
Money raised by March of Dimes touches families like the Johnsons. 1 out of 8 babies is born prematurely in Smith County. It's 1 out of 6 in Gregg and Harrison counties.
"There's not a reason for it. It happens to people that have perfectly excellent health care and everything is going right," Vickie Hargrove, Director of the March of Dimes in East Texas, said.
The Signature Chef Gala on Sept. 23rd at 6:30 p.m. is the March of Dimes biggest fundraiser of the year. The event at Willow Brook Country Club will feature 12 chefs from our area cooking up their best dishes to reduce premature births.