Thursday, November 4, 2010

Story of HOPE

Michelle ~ A Walk To Remember
Sawyer Erik  
Born June 1, 2010 - Died June 3, 2010
My son Sawyer was born on June 1, 2010 at 28 weeks gestation.  He was born with a perfect broken heart.  He died nearly two days after he was born due to complications from Tetralogy of Fallot, a congenital heart defect.
I have organized "A Walk To Remember" in my hometown for other families that have experienced the heartbreak of pregnancy and infant loss.  We raised over $3,400 for Angels of Hope - a nonprofit that helps families with burial costs for children and assists women with the cost of IVF treatments. 

If someone told me that two months after Sawyer died, I would be organizing an event like this, I never would have believed it. But here I am, just one week before our walk, adding the final touches to a day that is all about remembering the spirit of our babies.
When my son died, I was left with so much emotion inside my body and no release for the intense feelings that overcome a mother after giving birth.  I had no baby to nurture, empty arms and a broken heart. 
When I took to the internet to find support, I was looking for a memorial walk in our area and was deeply saddened to see that there weren't any nearby.  In that instant, I decided that there should be a walk to remember.  And by the next morning, I had a date, venue and a huge support team of friends and family who were behind me, ready and willing to support in any way.
All of the effort that I've poured into this walk has helped in so many ways. I've met other babylost mothers whom I never would have and we've cried, shared our stories and begun new friendships. 
I've been able to take all of that love and nurturing inside of me and put it into all of the organizing and work that goes into an event that is this big. 
It hasn't taken my focus away from my son, who as always, is the inspiration for everything I do.  But hearing from other mothers that they are so happy there is something like this to remember their babies, are moments that I will never forget.  This is the exact reason why I decided to take on this challenge so soon after Sawyer's death.  

One thing that inspired me more than anything else to organize this walk were other mothers who have turned their grief and anguish into something positive.  Mothers like Kristine Brite McCormick of "Cora's Story" and Stephanie Cole of "The Sweet Pea Project" show that we can have purpose in life after so much pain and suffering.

To read more about Michelle please visit Sawyer's Heart or read her story on Faces


Amy Park said...

If its possible I would like to talk to you and ask a few questions if you wouldnt mind. My email is its about the walk I also put together a small walk together with a few friends and would like to get more info. We only had to weeks to get it together when we found out that oct 15 was the awareness day for pregnancy and Infant loss. I lost my baby girl 8 months ago she only lived for 3 hrs due to a mistake. Thanks and what an awsome thing you have done. Amy Park

Michelle said...

Thank you Amy! Contact me anytime at <3

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