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Big Talk: “Juniper: The Girl Who Was Born Too Soon.”

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Kelley Benham French and Tom French are journalists, both now teaching at Indiana University’s Media School. Both were award-winning newspaper reporters for the Tampa Bay Times. They met when she was young and he was closer to middle age. Years later, after his first marriage ended, they finally became a couple, married, and tried to have a baby. For years, Kelley could not become pregnant. They sought help from fertility clinics and tried every means medical technology offered to get Kelly pregnant. Finally, Kelley’s pregnancy tests came back positive. But barely five months into term, Juniper came to life — but she had the most tenuous hold on it. Premature babies that young rarely, if ever, survive. Tom and Kelley were determined to give Juniper every chance to live. For the next few months they watched, helpless, as Juniper battled for her life. Their book, “Juniper: The Girl Who Was Born Too Soon” is due out September thirteenth from publisher Little Brown. It’s inspired by Kelley’s multi-part series on Juniper’s birth for the Tampa Bay Tribune, for which she was nominated — and was a finalist — for the Pulitzer Prize. Michael Glab talked with Tom, who is himself a Pulitzer Prize-winner, at the WFHB studios earlier this week.

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