The "Today" show's Ann Curry has been covering the McCaughey family's seven children—the world's first surviving septuplets—since they first got on the media's radar in November 1997. Parents Bobbi and Kenny McCaughey graced the cover of Time magazine in Dec. 1997, just weeks after the children were born. And the family's personal struggle not only struck a chord with the public but also sparked discussion and debate about the use of fertility drugs.
The arrival of the septuplets also prompted well wishers to donate some crucial gifts to the McCaughey home in order to aid the parents contending with the challenge of seven new mouths to feed. The donations included a large new house, a van and a two-year supply of diapers. The state of Iowa also offered the kids free tuition at any state university after their graduation from high school.
The septuplets' birth also inspired some cautionary advice from the three surviving Dionne quintuplets--who had been kept prominently in the public eye since their birth in Ontario on May 28, 1934. In an open letter published in Time magazine, the Dionnes congratulated Bobbi and Kenny McCaughey, but noted that their childhoods were marred by "exploitation at the hands of the government of Ontario," and warned that "Multiple births should not be confused with entertainment, nor should they be an opportunity to sell products."
Curry has kept with the story—from the early years of the McCaughey's using 42 bottles and 50 diapers a day—through this past month, as the children became teenagers.
"I have a feeling I'm going to be covering them until they're 21, and beyond," Curry said on "Today," where she unveiled a clip of the TLC documentary, "America's Septuplets Turn 13."
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