MADISON, Wis —October marks Pregnancy & Infant Loss Awareness Month and in order to help families grieve an unthinkable loss, two Madison area non-profits are teaming up.
On Oct. 15, around the Wisconsin State Capitol, Healing Our Hearts and the Alana Rose Foundation will put on an empty stroller walk. That event will be followed by a special candle lighting ceremony.
"There is this international movement called the 'Wave of Light' where at seven o'clock in your timezone you're supposed to light a candle in honor of yours and other babies who have died. And if you do that in your time zone at seven o'clock, what we essentially have is a wave across the globe," The Alana Rose Foundation's Kim Whitmore said.
Whitmore delivered her baby, Alana Rose, stillborn at 32 weeks. She said an event like this is a compassionate way to help families heal.
"We know that one in four women suffer pregnancy and infant loss at some point in their life and this is not something that's uncommon but yeah, we don't talk about it and so many people suffer in silence," Whitmore said.
Hearts for Healing's Felicia Turner-Walton agreed and was inspired when Whitmore shared the last-minute idea with her.
"To let other moms know that it's okay to celebrate your babies with or without them being present physically," she said about the effort's ultimate goal.
Turner-Walton lost her son, Zaire, at just four months old and believes the Empty Stroller walk can be cathartic and a comfort for grieving families hoping to celebrate those little lost lives.
For families hoping to participate but who may not have a stroller, one will be provided through Project Babies. That non-profit also giving strollers away at the event to anyone in need.
You can learn more, here.
October 15 Editor's Note: Healing Our Hearts has been changed to properly reflect the correct organization.