Our Mission

Come find out what our mission as a non-profit organization is.

Our Story

Read the story of the sweet baby boy that inspired the foundation of this non-profit organization.

Packages

Learn more about what each donated package contains and the reason why it is included.

How To Help

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Donate

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Friday, October 31, 2014

Capture Your Grief Day 31: Sunset

Arizona, USA
#captureyourgrief #whathealsyourheart

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Guest Post: Cindy

Today we are lucky enough to have Cindy with us Guest Posting from Strollin' to Fight SIDS - she is an amazing person who was willing to share with us all her story. Please take a moment to read this post, visit her site,  and feel free to leave comments in response on our Facebook page

In October of 2011 my family received an unexpected surprise: A positive pregnancy test. Our youngest daughter was only
10 months old, and as a full time working mom of two girls under 5 years old, I was not sure about how to handle this news. As the months went by, we learned that I was expecting our third daughter. By the time she was born, on June 21, 2012, we were determined to accept the chaos that three children under 5 would bring. The second she arrived, we were in love. Anneliese Marie Reher was the picture of health, weighing in at 7 pounds 5 oz, and 18.5 inches long.

Before Anneliese was even born, I felt a deep, nagging fear of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome. As a seasoned mom, I should have felt more confident in the survival of my third child, not less so. Before she was even born, I remember perusing the internet as if I could “find” the way to avoid SIDS. After her birth, I still felt this fear, but I pushed it aside. I had always been one to follow all the Safe Sleep guidelines, almost obsessively so, and I continued to do so with Anneliese. Anneliese’s crib was always bare and boring: completely empty except for our bundle of joy. No blankets, no bumpers, no stuffed animals. Anneliese had started to roll from back to front, and front to back, and so we had stopped swaddling, in case she rolled in the night, so she would be able to right herself. Although she was rolling, it was not consistent, and the rolling episodes were few and far between. She was exclusively breastfed, current on vaccinations, the room was kept cool, and she slept with a pacifier. I am a stickler for the rules.

Before she died, I remember one day in particular. I was talking to my dear friend on the phone about how my parents were pressuring my husband and I to consider a permanent end to our fertility: a vasectomy. I was telling her how I had prayed about this, and that I felt it was wrong. I then told her that I was terrified of SIDS with Anneliese, and that I couldn’t consider anything permanent until she reached 1 year of age. I told my friend that I knew I could never replace her, but that I would want the chance to have another if she died. I was that fearful of SIDS. Now, looking back on it, I think God was preparing me for what was to come.

On October 27, 2012, I breastfed Anneliese in the morning, and then headed to the local Kid’s consignment sale to purchase early Christmas gifts for the girls. While I was gone, my husband tried to get Anneliese to sleep in the swing in the living room, where she often napped due to her reflux, as the swing allowed her to sleep elevated. But she would not sleep there, and was very agitated that day, so my husband put her in her crib in our room, on her back to sleep, for her afternoon nap. When I got home after the sale, I was exhausted. Unbeknownst to me at that time, I was already feeling ill and exhausted from the effects of yet diagnosed postpartum thyroid inflammation, and thyroid cancer. I fell asleep on the sofa, and later awoke to wonder why Anneliese had not awoken ready for a feeding. I went into our room, and the nightmare that I saw that day will replay in my mind forever and ever. Our sweet Anneliese was gone. During her nap, she had rolled from her back, to her stomach, with her head to the side, and departed this world, into the loving arms of Jesus.

My pediatrician had always told us not to worry when babies start rolling from stomach to back; that there was nothing that you could do to prevent them from rolling and that by that time their neck strength was such that everything should be ok. Even though we followed all the safe sleep rules, my husband and I could not stop Anneliese from rolling into an “unsafe” sleep position herself. The day she died was the first and last time that she rolled during a nap. How is anyone to prevent their baby from rolling? How many times, as babies, did my older daughters do the same, and yet they never died?

Soon after her death, a friend who I had not seen for 16 years saw my post on Facebook about Anneliese. She came to me, and told me that she had had a dream, that she was meant to help me start a SIDS charity walk in the Seattle area, and that we would call it Strollin’ to Fight SIDS. She told me that she felt lead by God to be there for me, and to help make it happen. Initially, I have to admit, that I was skeptical that we could make it happen. In addition to planning a major event, I also had received the news that I had papillary thyroid carcinoma. The most miraculous thing is that Anneliese’s
very birth saved my life. Not only did she save me spiritually, by drawing me closer to my faith, and the knowledge that I would see her again, but she saved my physical body too. Her “unplanned” June birth set off inflammation within my thyroid gland, which allowed the cancer to be found. If I had not given birth, my cancer would never have been discovered. Less than 1 month after her birth, I was at Swedish hospital for surgery, and in January of 2013 I had chemotherapy, which required that I be isolated from my two living daughters for over a week.


Not only did I battle cancer, and win while grieving the loss of Anneliese, but my friend and I made our dream a reality. The first annual Strollin’ to Fight SIDS took place June 2013, and we are scheduled for our third annual event June 2015! We have raised over $22,000 dollars for SIDS research via The CJ Foundation for SIDS through our events. We also hold various small online fundraisers on our Facebook page throughout the year for The CJ Foundation for SIDS, as well as Dr. Hannah Kinney’s SIDS research at Boston Children’s Hospital.

As a medical professional and a mother of a child lost to SIDS, I am passionate about supporting research into Sudden Infant Death Syndrome. Something must be medically wrong for our babies to die. Safe sleep was simply not enough to save my daughter. Although we will always miss her sweet smiles, and bubbly personality, it comforts us a bit to know that we are doing what we can to try to stop SIDS from affecting other families ever again.

Find us online at: www.strollintofightsids.org

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Guest Post: Yanet

Today we are lucky enough to have Yanet with us Guest Posting from the Tuts for Tre - she is an amazing person who was willing to share with us all her story. Please take a moment to read her post, visit her site, and feel free to leave comments in response on our Facebook page

Hello, I am Baby Tre's Mommy. Baby Tre passed away Nov. 13, 2012 after fighting to survive before he was even born. He was diagnosed with Hydrocephalus around 27 weeks via ultrasound during my pregnancy. Baby Tre was born at 35 weeks and was later diagnosed legally blind (Morning Glory Syndrome), was put on a 23 hour feeding tube, Epilepsy, West Syndrome, Scoliosis, Moebius Syndrome (inability to smile, show any facial expressions). He passed away at home in my arms on Hospice. He was 14 months old.

In his honor I started Tüts for Tre. We make Tutus for Princess who fight to survive and Princesses in Heaven for FREE. We have mailed a few around the world including England, Africa, New Zealand & Canada.


If you are interested in receiving one send us a message on Tüts for Tre and request to get required info. We would love to make a Princess or a Grieving Mother SMILE!! 

Tuts for Tre on Facebook:

To learn about Baby Tre:


If you would like to guest post with us this month it isn't too late, please send us a message via our Contact Us page.

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Capture Your Grief - Days 24 & 25

Day 24: Forgiveness

When I think about forgiveness and my grief journey the person who I need to forgive most is myself.  In the past I used to resent people who made comments that were hurtful but I no longer let those comments bother me.  There are still times when I feel guilty about my son's death.  I know in my heart that nothing I would have done differently that night would have kept him alive but it is hard to come to terms with the fact that my perfectly healthy newborn went to sleep and never woke up and nobody can tell us WHY.  I'll never forget being interviewed by a detective in the hospital and him starting off with....So, your a nurse.....In my mind I wanted to scream, YES I'm a nurse, and YES my son was in bed with me and YES he passed away.  Gage had been in bed with me, he was where I usually slept and I was where my husband usually slept a good arms length apart.  I hold onto a lot of guilt since cosleeping is thought to be one of the risk factors for SIDS.  I have coslept with each of my children while breastfeeding and know 110% that this did not play a role in Gage's death, but having someone throw it in my face was difficult.  I try to move past these thoughts and feelings but they still eat at me often. #captureyourgrief #whathealsyourheart

Day 25: Mother Earth
I didn't plant a tree or seeds today but have several times in the past.  We planted a tree in our back yard shortly after Gage passed and keep it surrounded by flowers.  Every time I look at them I am reminded of my sweet boy.  We have enjoyed keeping up the tree and flowers as a family.  I received a packet of Forget-Me-Not seeds in a card from my aunt after Gage passed.  This is one reason I chose to incorporate a packet of Forget-Me-Not seeds in each of the kits that we donate through our non-profit organization in Gage's memory.  I like to think that other families can plant these seeds and have something beautiful to look at while they remember their sweet babies gone too soon. 
#captureyourgrief #whathealsyourheart



Capture Your Grief is a mindful healing project for anyone who is grieving the death of a baby or child of any age or gestation. If you are not grieving the death of a child but a loved one and would like to raise awareness for the bereaved parents community, we welcome you to take part as well to help us spread the word about our community. For more information visit CarlyMarie Project Heal at  http://carlymarieprojectheal.com/2014/09/capture-your-grief-2014.html









Friday, October 24, 2014

Captue Your Grief - Day 23: Inspiration

Day 23: Inspiration

Gage inspired me to start our non-profit organization with the hopes of helping other families who experience the loss of their infant(s).  I don't wake up each day excited that I get to make these kits for others because I truly wish there was no reason for them.  I wouldn't wish this type of loss/tragedy on my worst enemy.  I wake up each day and hope to be the best me I can be for that day.  I wake up excited to have a relationship with God and know that Gage is in His care.  I wake up thankful each day knowing that one day my time will come and I'm no longer afraid of that day. I welcome the day I get to see my little boy again.



Day 23Day 23: INSPIRATION. Have your children inspired you in your life? Maybe it is someone you found because of your children that has inspired you. Share about who or what you draw your inspiration from. Living an inspired life is one of the greatest things you could ever do. Waking up feeling excited about my day is something that I never imagined would happen after our son died, but it did. I know today’s subject will not resonate with some people as the thought of waking up feeling inspired to be alive is one of the last things you are feeling. So if you feel you cannot take part today, maybe just have a look at what others are saying. It is my hope that this post might inspire some feelings in your own heart to start searching for some inspiration for your own life. 
Capture Your Grief is a mindful healing project for anyone who is grieving the death of a baby or child of any age or gestation. If you are not grieving the death of a child but a loved one and would like to raise awareness for the bereaved parents community, we welcome you to take part as well to help us spread the word about our community. For more information visit CarlyMarie Project Heal at  http://carlymarieprojectheal.com/2014/09/capture-your-grief-2014.html

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Guest Post: Maura & Sam

Today we are lucky enough to have Maura & Sam with us Guest Posting from Charlie's Kids - they are an amazing coupe who were willing to share with us all their story. Please take a moment to read this post, visit their site,  and feel free to leave comments in response on our Facebook page

When my husband, Sam, and I found out we were pregnant with our first son we were over the moon.  We couldn’t wait to share our pregnancy news with friends and family, and excitedly prepared for his arrival.  We read all the baby books, had half a dozen showers and spent copious amounts of time making sure his nursery was just perfect.
On April 6, 2010, we finally got to meet our sweet baby boy.  He was born a perfect, healthy bundle at 7 lbs. 11 oz.  We named him Charlie Paul.
My love for him grew deeper and stronger each time I held him, nursed him and sang to him.  I could stare for hours into those beautiful, trusting eyes.
We imagined Charlie’s life, and made plans.  We looked forward to zoo visits, baseball games and his first day of kindergarten.  But our dreams were cut short.  Three short weeks after welcoming our Charlie, he died, a victim of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome(SIDS) and an unsafe sleep environment.
Like most new moms, I picked out a cute, new outfit each day, changed a bunch of diapers, and tried desperately to remember all the words to the nursery rhymes and songs that brought me joy in my childhood.  I nursed him and rocked him, and worked hard to make sure my baby was happy, healthy and had a full belly.  I did everything, except sleep, and after three weeks complete exhaustion took over.
Sam, the ever-doting daddy, held Charlie that night so I could catch a few hours of uninterrupted sleep.  Tired, he laid on the couch with Charlie, the perfect picture of sleep-deprived father and son.  It wasn’t unusual; we so often see this photo on Facebook — baby asleep on dad’s chest, dad sound asleep too.  Sam woke up, Charlie didn’t.
We now know: this sleepy snuggle is actually dangerous for our babies.  Co-sleeping and tummy sleeping are two of the leading risk factors for SIDS, and this includes those innocent naps on the couch or accidentally falling asleep after nursing in the night. So, when trying to calm a newborn at 2 a.m., or sneaking a few extra zzz’s during the day, think of our Charlie. We want you to know that your baby is safest on his or her back, alone in the crib. This has become one of our life missions.
There is nothing that can take our pain away, but trying to prevent other families from living this same nightmare offers some sense of purpose as we move forward in our grief.
With that goal in mind, on April 6, 2011 – Charlie’s first birthday – Charlie’s Kids Foundation was established.  Our mission was clear: to raise awareness and support of SIDS by educating families, providing resources for new parents and promoting dialogue about SIDS and safe sleep practices.
In just a few short years we have been able to see long term dreams become a real working reality.  With our unique backgrounds – me, a kindergarten teacher with a Masters in Reading, and Sam, a pediatric cardiologist with a passion for advocacy –  we knew when we started our foundation that we wanted to use children’s books to spread the safe sleep message.
Today we could not be more proud of our very own Charlie’s Kids bedtime book, Sleep Baby Safe and Snug, written by pediatrician Dr. John Hutton.  Based on the American Academy of Pediatrics’ Safe Sleep Recommendations, we know this little book is having a huge impact, as it is being heard, remembered and read over and over again by parents and caregivers to their little ones.
Sleep Baby Safe and Snug provides the safe sleep message in the context of a beautifully written and illustrated children’s story.  Because books are often part of the traditional bedtime routine, this book provides safe sleep instructions and reminders right before the child is placed in their sleeping environment.
With this small but mighty book we have partnered with organizations across the country helping to spread this most important safe sleep message.
And, in doing so, Charlie continues to be a big part of our family and everyday lives. We talk about him. We include him in our family pictures. His name is on our Christmas card. We always tell people we have three children. Through Charlie’s Kids, we believe Charlie is becoming a part of families across the country too. We know his too short life is making a big difference.
While their family is forever altered, Maura and Sam made Charlie a big brother upon the arrival of Owen Daniel in June 2011. They welcomed their third child, Annie Elizabeth, July 2013. They can’t wait to tell their children how their big brother has changed so many lives for the better.
Sleep Baby Safe and Snug is now available at select retailers in Cincinnati: The Blue Manatee, The Villager and Joseph Beth Booksellers.  It is also available online at Amazon.com.  If you are a member of a community organization, hospital or health department, please contact us at charlieskids.org for more details and special pricing.
Charlie's Kids Website:
Charlie's Kids on Facebook: 

If you would like to guest post with us this month it isn't too late, please send us a message via our Contact Us page.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Capture Your Grief - Day 18: Gratitude

Today I am most grateful for my kids. I am grateful that they are here to keep me going. It has been hard to watch what they have gone through at such young ages but I'm also grateful to see how resilient they are. They are the reason I got out of bed each morning after Gage died. I am grateful for everything they teach me. I learn from them each and every day. I'm most grateful for their innocence and how willing they are to show me how much they love me......I never get tired of their hugs and kisses! #captureyourgrief #whathealsyourheart

Capture Your Grief is a mindful healing project for anyone who is grieving the death of a baby or child of any age or gestation. If you are not grieving the death of a child but a loved one and would like to raise awareness for the bereaved parents community, we welcome you to take part as well to help us spread the word about our community. For more information visit CarlyMarie Project Heal at  http://carlymarieprojectheal.com/2014/09/capture-your-grief-2014.html