We began our journey in 2007, when we lost our son, Lincoln. Less than a year later we planned and held our first Walk to Remember. Hoping for 25 to 50 people to attend, we were stunned when over 400 people registered and joined us at the Alberta Legislature Grounds on a sunny, summer-like day in early October.
Our vision for Walk to Remember was simple: we wanted to raise awareness of pregnancy and baby loss in Canada. We also wanted to improve the experience families have in the hospital after the loss of a baby. We can say that after 6 years, Walk to Remember has acheived this.
Everyone who has attended Walk to Remember has gone over and above. Our caring community has generously donated around $115,000, along with more than 2,000 teddy bears.
We're proud to say that 100% of the money raised went directly to our beneficiaries – with reimbursement for event expenses. These funds and teddy bears have been used by local hospitals and support groups to help hurting families begin their own healing journeys.
Thank you to everyone who has donated and brought teddy bears.
After much thought and consideration, we have decided not to hold Walk to Remember in 2014. It is very hard to end something you start. And it is very hard to say goodbye to something you hold so near and dear to your heart. This is not an easy discision to make.
Last year, Walk to Remember raised money with the goal of being self-funded. We met that goal and raised enough money to hold the walk without the need of a beneficiary. This was a big success – and we're glad we did it. We raised a little more money than we needed, so this fall, we will be donating the excess to a local hospital or support group. (More on that once we finalize the details of the donation.)
As a faimily of two three, putting on Walk to Remember has been quite the feat. Each year, we have spent two-to-three months organizing and getting ready for the walk.
We have asked much of our family, friends, volunteers, and sponsors. Each year, we would do things a little differently. The walk grew and grew and pretty soon more than 1,000 people were in attendance. We continued to push forward, adding more details like face painting and the wishing tree.
Chalk names, balloons, teddy bear tables, registrations, stage and audio equipment... the list goes on and on. We just could never have accomplished this on our own. Our family, friends, volunteers, and sponsors have been so kind and generous with their own time and energy to help Walk to Remember exist.
A special thank you to Kate Inglis, Marni Kuhlmann, Bonnie Magley, Patti Walker, Rishma Karmali, Elise Cerny, Maureen and Kim Diebel, Chris and Ray Stevens, Rob, Lauren, and Max Lim, Stephanie Simpson, Trevor and Leah Irvine, Flo Hagen, Grant and Alice Hagen, Shaun and Lanette Hagen, Donna and Donna, and so many others.
Thank you to our sponsors: Ignition Industries, Rob + Lauren Photographers, Priority Printing, Sara Kalke, CU Photography, CTV, Edmonton Journal, Phlo Design, Cine Audio Visual, Safeway, Dignity Memorial, and Park Memorial.
And to each and every volunteer and every student of the MacEwan University Nursing program who showed up early in the morning to set up and stayed late in the afternoon to tear down, thank you!
Sadly, more families than one might realize have experienced the ache of losing a baby. In Alberta alone, 15,000 babies each year are taken by miscarriage, stillbirth, early infant death or SIDS. Each of these babies changed lives and touched hearts. Each lives on inside a mother, a father, a sibling or a grandparent. And each left a profound emotional legacy that can be difficult for other people to understand if they haven't experienced baby loss themselves.