This year, Estella Dugar, RN, Case Management at MountainView Hospital will celebrate a special birthday. She’ll turn 15 years old.
Estella isn’t a child prodigy (although she is very smart!), Estella is one of the few people who were born on Leap Year. In the U.S., there is only an estimated 187,000 people who have been born on Leap Day, and your chances of being born on this day are 1 in about 1,500.
At MountainView Hospital, there are 2,150 employees, and only two who were born on a Leap Day. At MountainView in 2016, also a Leap Year, there were four babies born, two boys and two girls.
So what tips does Estella have for the MountainView babies (and their parents) who will be born on Leap Day 2020?
“I’ve enjoyed it a lot, it’s a good ice breaker,” Estella said of her unusual birthday, which is displayed on her driver’s license as Feb. 29. “It has been something that made me special; it has always been a subject of conversation and it still is.”
Estella does advise parents to pick a day they will celebrate their child’s birthday on, so as not to confuse the child on “off” years. Estella remembers her mom wanting to celebrate her birthday on Feb. 28, while her dad insisted on celebrating on March 1. At the time, Estella didn’t mind, as her birthday ended up being celebrated for most of the week.
Estella’s favorite memory as a “leapling” (Leap Year babies are often referred to as leaplings or leapers) was when she celebrated her 24th year, but 6th Leap Year birthday.
“My mom had a party for me that was set up for six year olds with puzzles and a big cake,” she said laughing. “I didn’t expect it, it was really sweet.”
So what will she do to celebrate this year? A quinceanera maybe? Estella said she’s not sure yet, but likely will celebrate all week—and on her unique day this year.