On this Thanksgiving week, I have many things to be thankful for, my wonderful husband, a great family, and a good job. After writing so many stories of grief and loss on my blog, I am thankful to be blessed with two wonderful and healthy children. I am also thankful that so many people have turned their grief into an organization to help others. Today’s organization is just one example.
Jenny and Marc Fujinami found out they were pregnant on May 21, 2011. They were excited and nervous just as any new parents would be. At just 13 weeks along, they learned that there was something wrong. Nothing was certain except that their baby girl would have a birth defect. At 18 weeks, they learned that she had Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome (HLHS) and a Diagrammatic Hernia and were given a 1% chance that she would survive. They named the baby Leah and continued to hope for a miracle. Jenny tells the rest of their heart wrenching story better than I ever could.
The sad truth is that 1 in 160 pregnant women will experience stillbirth and 1 in 4 pregnancies will end in miscarriage, stillbirth or other tragic events shortly after birth. After her experience, Jenny knew that more should be offered to families experiencing infant loss. She partnered with Carolyn, the photographer and Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep volunteer who captured photographs of Leah’s birth, to create Love for Leah.
Love for Leah is an organization that donates Love for Leah Bags to families in Cheyenne, Wyoming who are experiencing the loss of an infant while at the hospital. The bags include items to capture memories, books to offer advice, and a list of resources, support and helpful organizations. You can see a full list of the items included as well as a photo on their website.
How can you help?
- You can make a monetary donation or inquire about items you can donate. You can learn more about making a donation on their website.
- You can also share the story and share all the great resources they have collected with others who may benefit from them.
- If you live in the Cheyenne, Wyoming area you can watch for promotional events or memorial events sponsored by Love for Leah.
- Love for Leah also seeks volunteers to help with fundraisers, bag assembly, and helping spread the word at vendor fairs and other events. You can contact them at firstname.lastname@example.org to volunteer.