Leap year birthday makes Butler County woman either middle-aged or a teenager

She was born on Feb. 29 in a Florida hospital 56 years ago.

Credit: Nick Graham

Credit: Nick Graham

TRENTON — Those who ask Nina Neeld her age might be surprised by her answer.

She may tell them she’s almost 56 years old or about to turn 14.

Neeld was born on Feb. 29, 1968 — Leap Year — in a Brooksville, Fla. hospital where her parents, James Cahoon and Beatrice Schofield, lived at the time. She will turn 56 on Thursday, ironically the same day of the week she was born.

Neeld remembers the first time she was told she was a Leap Day baby. She was turning 12 and excited about almost being a teenager.

Then her father jokingly told her she was 3.

“He made me cry,” she said.

Now some of her grandchildren joke that since she’s only 14, she’s not old enough to drive or drink and she’s younger than them.

She understands how rare it is to be born on Feb. 29, and the teasing that follows.

“It’s kinda cool,” she said.

Neeld was due to be born in the middle of March, but came about two weeks early, she said.

Since Feb. 29 occurs once every 1,461 days, the likelihood of a baby being born on Leap Day is roughly 1 in 1,461.

Neeld, who is divorced, plans to celebrate her 56th birthday with her son, Randall, daughter-in-law, Valerie, and three of her four grandchildren in their Trenton home. She moved from Florida to Butler County about four years ago to live with her son and watch her grandchildren, she said.

She had planned to spend her birthday in Florida with family and friends, but after recovering from two bouts of pneumonia that sent her to Kettering Health Hamilton and Atrium Medical Center in Middletown, she decided to stay home.

When the nurses asked her age, she told them 14.

“They had to think for a few minutes,” she said with a laugh.

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