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'I'm turning 18': Longtime leap year friends celebrate milestone birthday Thursday


Thursday was a special day for two St. Albert women who have been waiting four years to celebrate their birthday.

Muriel Grimble and her longtime friend Marilyn Carlyle-Helms were born on Feb. 29 at the Royal Alexandra Hospital, four years apart.

For Grimble, this year's birthday was a long-awaited milestone.

“I’m turning 18," Grimble said. "It used to be funny when you could divide it by four, but it’s still old, even at 18.

"But, I guess legitimately, I can drink – so we're having a glass of wine with our lunch today."

"Being born on leap year is just an incredible experience," Carlyle-Helms said. “My husband said he likes to think of being with his 19-year-old wife instead of the 76 year old."

Grimble and Carlyle-Helms met more than 25 years ago, and the pair said their connection goes deeper than sharing a date of birth.

"When we met, there's so much karma between us," Carlyle-Helm said. "We're so alike. And we're just good pals … I'll often think of Muriel and she will text me literally right after."

The two have made it a habit over the years to get together on the last day of February to celebrate their birthday, whether or not it's their "real" birthday.

Like other leap years, the two teenagers will celebrate together for a few extra days to make up for lost time.

"(People) go, 'It’s too bad you don’t have a real birthday.' And we go, 'We’re real lucky we don’t have a real birthday because we get a whole week of a birthday," Carlyle-Helm.

“Having a good friend like Marilyn, who happens to have her birthday on the same day as I have it, and that we can share it together, is to me the gift that we have," Grimble said. Top Stories


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