The joy, struggle in Laurie Jennings' personal life
Local 10 anchor's personal experiences led to relationship with March of Dimes
PEMBROKE PARK, Fla. – As a television news anchor and reporter for 30 years, Laurie Jennings became used to living in the limelight, but her personal life became very public during her engagement and marriage to Josh Salman.
"I definitely was meant to come to South Florida because I met my 'tall, dark and handsome' here," she said with a smile.
The couple met in mid-2001 at a charity event in Bal Harbour.
"We spotted each other and never let go," she said.
Soon after their marriage in 2003, the couple became expectant parents.
"We got pregnant right out of the bat and it was triplets," Jennings said.
But the joy soon gave way to heartbreak when she miscarried at 19 and a half weeks.
"Everyone told me they were so healthy, that everything looked great. I just have to trust that God knew better, that it just wasn't meant to be," she said.
Seven months later, Jennings was pregnant again, this time with twin boys who were born prematurely at 24 and a half weeks.
"They came four and a half months early, and that meant we spent four and a half months in the NICU every night," Jennings said.
The boys, named Luke and Jake, struggled to survive. One month into the ordeal, Jake almost died.
"And all I could do was put my hand on that incubator and just sing, and I sang for what felt like forever," Jennings said choking back tears.
A team of specialists helped Jake pull through and the frightening experience became the foundation for her connection to the March of Dimes.
"In 2006, a team from the former Continental Airlines dedicated their fundraising efforts in the annual 'Walk for Babies' to Luke and Jake and I said, 'When these boys get out, I'm going to give my time to the March of Dimes,'" she said.
Every year since, Jennings has taken part in the annual walks in both Miami-Dade and Broward counties, bringing along her husband and boys.
"She's just a giving individual -- giving of her time, her talent and her voice," Rochelle Darman, with the March of Dimes in South Florida, said. "It's important to her to reach everyone, to hear their stories and to share with a compassionate heart."
It's a passion that will stay with Jennings long after the TV lights go out.
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