Providence’s Ascension Chapter and the Waco March of Dimes spread awareness and support in honor of Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month.

WACO, Texas (KWTX) – October marks Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month, and Ascension Providence and the Waco March of Dimes raise awareness by raising money or supporting women who have experienced the unique grief of losing an infant.

“It’s a journey you keep walking,” said Ginny Hall, March of Dimes Waco Donor Development Manager. “It never ends,” he said. “It’s a daily struggle, a daily struggle. We just want people to know that they are not alone and that there are resources out there and that they can connect with other families who have been through this journey so they don’t feel alone.

Before she joined the March of Dimes, Hall experienced a loss she will never forget.

“Nine years ago we lost our son Hayes to premature birth,” she said.

Hall said it was upsetting for her and her husband because the loss was so sudden.

“You’ve been surrounded by so much love and so much support for a few weeks, but then when everyone has to go back to their normal lives, you’re still sitting in your loss and you’re still sitting in your place. The grief that everybody’s going there,” he said.

To help Hall move on and honor her son’s life, she joined the Waco chapter of Marty of Dimes.

“Why I’m in this role with Marty Deems is to try to prevent preterm birth and infant loss,” Hall said.

He has held several fundraisers and walks to raise money for research into the causes of these deaths. She has also supported many women through this outlet who have also experienced similar losses.

He also managed to keep his son’s memory alive by adding a stone to the Ascension Garden in Providence. It’s not just any stone. The stone is painted green with purple lettering “Hayes Lee – August 8, 2015”.

The stone connects a garden of several stones with names, messages and dates written by parents who lost their children.

“When they come back to the hospital to support photos or brochures, I like to meet them in the park and give them the opportunity to put a painted stone with their child’s name on it and then sit here in a private area to acknowledge the loss. ,” said Ascension Providence Perinatal Coordinator, Lauren Montgomery.

The rock gardens are also connected with a bench, flowers and stones, which give the couple a private and peaceful place.

Montgomery said the garden was created during Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month — October — two years ago, in 2020, in partnership with Hall and Marty Deems.

“… to provide a private and peaceful place for our families to come and remember their children,” Montgomery said.

This October, March of Dimes in Waco will hold a chef autograph auction on Thursday, October 27 to raise funds for women’s research and support.

March of Dimes has six advanced research centers across the country. Hall said the money raised from the fundraiser will go to these research centers to identify the causes and prevent more infant deaths, premature births, maternal deaths and birth defects.

As the research continues, Hall recommends some things she learned from the loss of her son, especially when trying to have more children.

“It’s scary not knowing why we’re going into labor early,” Hall said. We have to lean on our family, our friends, our church and our faith to get us through this and then also really advocate for myself and talk to my doctor…let them help us. and guide us. this process too.”

As terrifying as it was for Hall, she and her husband now have three children, an 8-year-old daughter and a set of 6-year-old twins. He said he is grateful for the support of his loved ones, Providence Ascension and Marty of Dimes.

She plans to continue supporting women who are grieving and expand the grief garden in partnership with Ascension Providence. They plan to add a plaque and hold a commemorative ceremony in December.

Montgomery said anyone interested in leaving a stone in the park to remember their child can contact her — [email protected]

For anyone who has missed it recently, you may want to visit digital resources for mourning at the March of Dimes website.

The March Signature Chef Auction begins next Thursday at 6:00 p.m. The auction will feature several local chefs from the Waco area. Tickets are $200 and can be purchased using link. As of Wednesday morning, the Waco fundraiser had already raised nearly $65,000.

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