The adorable 2014 March of Dimes ambassador made his first public appearance today on The Real Story.

Aidan Lamothe, 6, was born 11 weeks early, weighing in at 3 pounds. His parents say March of Dimes research, which aims to combat premature births, was crucial to Aidan becoming healthy.

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Every year on his birthday, Aidan says he goes back to the hospital where he was born to say “Thank you.”

More than 5,000 babies are born prematurely in the U.S. each year.