On October 25, 1988, President Ronald Reagan proclaimed that the whole month of October should be known as ‘Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month.’ On that day, President Reagan stated,

"When a child loses his parent, they are called an orphan. When a spouse loses her or his partner, they are called a widow or widower. When parents lose their child, there isn’t a word to describe them. This month recognizes the loss so many parents experience across the United States and around the world. It is also meant to inform and provide resources for parents who have lost children due to miscarriage, ectopic pregnancy, molar pregnancy, stillbirths, birth defects, SIDS, and other causes.

Robyn Bear had six. that's right six, first trimester miscarriages before she gave birth to three beautiful children. Lisa Brown suffered the loss of two babies, one at 4 1/2 weeks in utero and another who died at 17 weeks in utero. Tammy Novak also suffered loss. Each of these mothers decided that they weren't going to forget the babies they lost or the pain they continued to feel in their hearts and so in 2002, all three women petitioned the federal government as well as the governors of each of the 50 states and requested for October 15th to officially be recognized as Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day. That year, 20 states signed proclamations supporting the date and by 2016, all 50 states had agreed to yearly proclamations, with Arkansas, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Missouri, New York, Rhode Island, and South Dakota adopting permanent proclamations.

According to Hiring for Hope, each year, 90,000 babies die in the United States before they reach the age of one and the average cost to bury a child is $10,000, yet the average American household income is roughly $50,000 a year.

When a child passes away, it doesn't matter how old they are or how their death happened, the loss is equally devastating and is something that parents and other family members must live with for the rest of their lives. Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month and Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day are aimed at embracing those grieving a loss and others who are trying to understand and comfort.

On Saturday, October 19, 2019, United Health Services will host 'A Walk to Remember' as a way for our community to come together and support each other as we grieve and remember precious life, no matter how long or how short it may have been.

'A Walk to Remember' will step off at 11 a.m. at the Vestal Coal House on the Vestal Rail Trail, at 204 Stage Road in Vestal. Registration is suggested but not required. If you'd like to register for the walk, you can do so here. During the event, there will be rock painting, a resource table, and the giving out of tulip bulbs.

The walk will be a quarter of a mile and will be dedicated to all of the precious angels who have died through ectopic pregnancy, miscarriage, stillbirth or infant death. The entire community is invited to participate, whether you are a grieving parent, family member, friend, caregiver, or even a compassionate stranger.

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