Newborn Screenings

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Jaylen Jeremiah Jenkins is a New Year's baby, and one the first in the state of Georgia to be screened for 28 disorders instead of only 12.

Lakeisha Jenkins, mother, said, "It makes you feel good as a mom knowing that he's getting tested for everything.”

The newborn screening program was signed into law in 1969. Since then Georgia has screened more than two million babies.

Dr. Charlene Blache said, "These screenings will pick up rare, but potentially very dangerous metabolic diseases in newborns, and obviously if we can make a difference by picking it up early, we would like to do that."

These tests can help detect conditions that can cause major illness, mental retardation and death if not immediately treated.

The Georgia chapter of the March of Dimes made a million dollar commitment to expand the screening program.

Chuck Roberts, Chairman of Valdosta's March of Dimes, said, "Has all kinds of information that can help the March of Dimes and can help researchers in trying to find causes for mental retardation, for prematurity, and premature babies has been a rise in Georgia."

One-day-old Jaylen is one of the first to be effected by this new law.

Jenkins added, "I feel great. It's a privilege."

And although born a few weeks early, he seems to be a happy and healthy boy. The cost for these new tests is now $40 and is covered by insurance.