Leap Day, on Feb. 29, only happens every four years. (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)

Once every four years: Agassiz-born leaper celebrates birthday

Odds of being born on Leap Day are 1 in 2.1 million

Technically, Jillyan Osterman has made it halfway through secondary school at age 4.

The odds of being born on Feburary 29 are approximately 1 in 2.1 million, and Jillyan’s mother Julia said Jillyan came into this world a bit later than expected.

“She was due on February 27, but she was a bit late,” Julia said. They grew up in Agassiz but now live in the lower peninsula of Michigan about three hours away from Chicago.

Jillyan turned 4 or 16 years old. Julia said while they do celebrate Jillyan’s brithday at the end of February every year, every leap year they have a bigger party.

RELATED: Couples take the leap into marriage with leap day weddings this weekend

“She probably has a dozen friends over each time,” Julia said, adding these friends are from all different parts of her life. This year’s party theme was based on the 90s sitcom Friends, including a themed scavenger hunt at alocal mall and invitations that reflect the naming trend of Friends episodes – The One Where Jillyan Turns 16.

RELATED: B.C. leap-year siblings ‘leapies’ celebrate 14th, 15th, birthdays together

A friend of the Osterman family makes the cakes each leap year after a different theme. For Jillyan’s “first” birthday, she had a Barbie cake with four little cupcakes, and for her “second” there was a cake featuring two frogs and eight lilypads.

Julia and Jillyan often travel back to Agassiz to reconnect with friends in the area.

If she so wished, Jillyan could join the Honor Society of Leap Year Day Babies, a free membership birthday club established in 1997. According to their website, there are more than 11,000 members who joined up until 2016. Past that year, it appears most of the activity for the Honor Society takes place on their Facebook page, which has more than 5,000 likes.

Among the more famous people born on Leap Day are rapper/songwriter Ja Rule, life coach Tony Robbins, All My Children star James Mitchell and Olympic gold medalist swimmer Cullen Jones.



adam.louis@ahobserver.com

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