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Release: June 3, 1999

Cedar Rapids quadruplets are featured on Children’s Miracle Network

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- A Cedar Rapids couple and their four "extraordinary" daughters will be spotlighted during the 17th annual Children's Miracle Network (CMN) "Weekend of Champions" telecast June 5-6.

Beating one in 10 million odds, Dan and Kim Grady became parents of spontaneously conceived identical quadruplets April 8, 1998 at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics.

Calling it an "extraordinarily rare event," Edward F. Bell, M.D., professor of pediatrics and director of neonatology at the Children's Hospital of Iowa at the UI Hospitals and Clinics, said "to have four babies that were born this early do as well as they are means we're very lucky and the family is lucky, too."

How the Gradys are coping with their rambunctious one-year-old daughters will be the subject shown during a local segment of the 21-hour telecast, which begins at 8 p.m. June 5. Twenty-minute segments are broadcast hourly live from UI Hospitals and Clinics by KGAN-TV, Channel 2.

The national telecast is aired from Walt Disney World in Orlando, Fla. and features a host of celebrities including Marie Osmond and John Schneider. The Osmond family, Mick Shannon, Joe Lake and John Schneider launched CMN nationally in 1983; UI Hospitals and Clinics joined the program a year later.

As for the Gradys, Bell praised them as "doing a great job. If there ever was a family that was up to the task here, it is the Gradys." He said fertility drugs were not involved.

The girls -- Lindsay, Alisha, Kara and Ashley -- are "doing very well" considering they were born 13 weeks early, Bell said. He said indications are that they're developing normally. "We don't know for sure about the future," he said. "The further they get without detectable problems, the more confident we are that they're going to be okay."

The Grady bunch kicked off an unprecedented year for UI Hospitals and Clinics. Within an eight-month period, beginning with the Grady births, three sets of quadruplets were born in UI Hospitals and Clinics, which had last seen the birth of quads 15 years earlier.

The UIHC telecast features hosts Michele Hall and Brian Roche, KGAN-TV, Channel 2, Cedar Rapids; Mollie Cooney, KCCI-TV, Channel 8, Des Moines; Mike Kleinstub, WQAD-TV, Channel 8, Quad Cities; and Pete Hjelmstad and Amy Kuns, KIMT-TV, Channel 3, Mason City, asking viewers to call in pledges.

CMN has raised more than $8 million to support pediatric services at the Children's Hospital of Iowa at UI Hospitals and Clinics. All of the money raised locally goes to UI Hospitals and Clinics for equipment, research and items to make the children's stay more comfortable.

In addition to videotaped stories featuring children who received treatment at the Children's Hospital at UI Hospitals and Clinics, the telecast spotlights current young CHI patients in their rooms. It also portrays CMN sponsors manning telephone banks in the main studio, where the hosts chat with volunteers and others who played a major role in raising money for CHI during the year.