Sunday, October 17, 2010

A Walk To Remember 2010

Today was moving, powerful and beautiful.

Over 150 people came out to support our first annual "A Walk To Remember" in honor of Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness month.

The idea to start a walk sprouted up just two months ago when we learned there were no events locally to remember our babies. Erik came home from work that night and I told him, "I want to do this. I want to do it for Sawyer and I want to do it for every other parent who has lost a baby."

Less than 24 hours later, we booked a site for the walk and the next two months we poured our blood, sweat and LOTS of tears into making this day a success.

By our early calculations, we have raised well over $3,000 for Angels of Hope - NFP, Inc. This local non-profit organization supports bereaved families, assists parents who can't afford burial costs for their children and provides funding toward families who are in need of IVF treatment but cannot afford the cost. We are so happy to say that our goal of raising $1,000 was met and exceeded beyond our expectations!

This morning as we began to load our vehicles, Erik and I were standing in the driveway when a giant red-tailed hawk swooped down so low you could see his face. He gracefully soared right through our front yard, over our heads and then down the street. I never in my life have seen a hawk fly so low to the ground like that. There is no doubt in my mind that it was Sawyer's way of saying hello to us and he continued to visit us throughout the day.

We had such amazing success with our silent auction and raffle. T-shirt sales were through the roof and the kids loved painting pumpkins, hopping around in the inflatable jumper, face painting and LOTS of cupcakes.

The weather was breezy, warm and beautiful. As we neared the end of our walk the sun began to dip lower in the sky - warm, bright rays shooting out from behind the clouds. It was breathtaking.

We had a remembrance table upon the top of a hill, decorated with little pumpkins and gourds - where each family placed a flower when their baby's name was called. After the walk was over, Erik and I took all of the flowers, gently placing them in the river behind the pavillion and watched them slowly drift away with the current.

I am so thankful to our many friends and family who came out today to help - sisters, cousins, friends, family and neighbors. To our walk committee who has been working so hard to get this walk accomplished in such a short amount of time - We thank you so graciously.

To my friend Carrie - without you I couldn't have done any of this. She was my never-ending support and friend during the entire planning process. I always say she was the last one to hug our "lil Sawyer" when we were rushing off to the hospital at 4 a.m. the day he was born. Again Carrie, thank you from the bottom of our hearts.

To my husband, Erik. I never could have accomplished this without your support and constant love.

To all of you - the mothers and fathers of our angels and their sisters, brothers, grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins and friends - Thank you for making today so beautiful.

And to my Sawyer - we love you so much and your short, beautiful life has touched so many. Today we were able to share in our grief and grow from the love you have shown us. Your spirit keeps us going. We miss you. We love you.

Monday, October 11, 2010

DIRECTIONS to the walk

From the East

Exit I-55 at the Channahon/US 6 exit. Turn right at the ramp onto US 6.

Take US 6 west into Channahon. Turn left at Canal Street. Follow Canal to Bridge Street and turn right. Then make the next left onto Blackberry Lane. Go down Blackberry Lane until Walnut Lane and turn left.

From the West

Take US 6 east into Channahon. Turn right at Canal Street. Follow Canal to Bridge Street and turn right. Then, make the next left onto Blackberry Lane. Go down Blackberry Lane until you reach Walnut Lane and turn left onto Walnut.

*If you search google maps. Enter "Walnut Lane, Channahon, IL" as your destination. As there is no address for the forest preserve pavillion. Thank you!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

The Reading of Names

Concluding the walk on October 16th, we will be reading the names of babies and infants that have gotten their wings too soon. If you are attending and would like us to read your child's name at the end of the walk, please send me an email with the name as you would like us to read it and any information on pronounciation as it pertains. Thank you -

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Planning Committee - Event volunteers

We will be holding our second planning committee meeting on Sept. 15th at 7 p.m. in Channahon. Everyone is welcome to attend and any ideas and input are greatly appreciated.

We are also in need of volunteers on the day of the event. If you are able to help with set-up, break-down and walk activities, please message me at for more information.

Auction and raffle ticket information

We are currently selling raffle tickets for "A Walk To Remember" at $5 each. We are also looking for people willing to help us sell tickets as well and if you would like to help, please send me an email at

If you would like to purchase a ticket by mail, you can mail me a check for the amount of tickets you would prefer (please make checks out to Michelle Williams or Angels of Hope) and I will mail you back the raffle stub.

We have had SO many amazing donations from numerous sponsorts. Raffle ticket prizes currently include: Several themed gift baskets and gift cards from area businesses including Tantress Salon, Enricos Italian Dining, Nick's Steakhouse, Enjoi Bakery, Jimmy John's Gourmet Subs and many more!

We will also be holding a silent auction that includes the following items up for bid: A full-house cleaning from Cleaning Solutions by Bridgette, one full-month session provided TM Martial Arts (uniform included), one free photography session from Maggie Cuprisin Photography (with a $50 credit toward photo purchase) and more!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Welcome message and our story

On June 1, 2010 I gave birth to my son, Sawyer, at Comer Children’s Hospital in Chicago. Soon after his birth, doctors informed us that Sawyer had numerous congenital heart defects, and early on the morning of June 3, 2010 - we said goodbye to our beautiful baby.

Overwhelmed with grief, I looked to many organizations for help and support and stumbled upon the official site of “Pregnancy and Infant Loss” (PAIL) Awareness Day which is held every year on October 15. In 1988, President Regan issued a Presidential Proclamation making October PAIL awareness month. Many states began holding walks in honor of all babies that have been lost too soon.

While searching to find a walk through their website, I was saddened to discover that none were listed in the Will-Grundy county area. And at that moment, decided to quickly begin work on the first annual “A Walk To Remember” on October 16 at McKinley Woods - Kerry Sheridan Grove in Channahon.

All proceeds from the event will go directly to “Angels of Hope, Inc. NFP” a Morris-based organization that was created in July 2005 to serve as beacons of hope for those suffering from the emotional and physical absence of a child. “Angels of Hope” has constructed a memorial park in Coal City and has also launched a project named “The Everlasting Footprints Grant” which will provide headstone and burial cost assistance to area families who suffer the death of a child from stillborn to the age of three. More information can be found by visiting their website at

If you are able to help sponsor “A Walk To Remember” please contact me at or by phone at 708-717-5846.