3-Minute Interview: Toni Fricke 

The Oakland resident, who grew up in Burlingame, is a member of the elite club of leap day babies. According to the Honor Society of Leap Year Day Babies Web site, the chance of being born on leap year day is about 1 in 1,461. Leapers make up only 0.0684 percent of the world’s population.

If you count the number of birthdays you've celebrated on Feb. 29, how old does that make you this year? I'm 13. I was born in 1956 at Mills Hospital in San Mateo.

Do you feel special or slighted because of your birthday? Probably a little of both. On one level, you get used to the fact that you don’t get a "real" birthday every year — I call it a "real" birthday. But when I don't have one, it sort of extends the celebration.

Are real birthdays different from the others? Yes. On those days, I want to do something good, something that really acknowledges the day. But there’s more pressure and higher expectations, too. You kind of feel like you don’t want to blow it.

On most years, what day do you celebrate? Well, the day I think of is Feb. 28; I feel like I was born in February. But really, it ends up being different days.

What are you doing to observe the day this year? I’m going to the hot springs. I could do that in a non-real birthday year, though. It has more to do with me feeling like I want to pamper myself this year.

Anything else you notice about your rare status? Yes. It sticks in other people’s minds. When I have a real birthday, I hear from people I haven’t heard from in a long time. Also, a way to remember when leap years fall is that they’re the same as election years, and used to be the same as Olympics years.

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Leslie Katz

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