Issue 17-121 — March 4, 2017
Starshine Galaxy Foundation is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to help sustain the memories of children who have died. To this end, we support the Tributes to Lost Children Community Page on Facebook as a place to post, share, and comment on activities to honor our departed children and to celebrate their lives. This biweekly Tributes Digest presents highlights from this community page along with other items of interest. Please feel free to forward this on to others you know who might be interested, and direct any comments, questions, or concerns to

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Remembering Robbie, the Heart of the Team (February 20) – On September 27, 2005, Robbie Levine collapsed at baseball practice. The fourth grader was running the bases when his heart stopped. His dad, Craig — who is a physician — began performing CPR, but Robbie couldn’t be resuscitated. His family remembers Robbie as a happy, healthy boy whose life revolved around his family, his friends and baseball. They established the Robbie Levine Foundation “to ensure that no other parent, on the ball field or anywhere else, should have to undergo the horror” that they have faced. The organization is dedicated to raising awareness about the need and importance of having Automated External Defibrillators, or AEDs, available where youth sports take place. It also promotes CPR education and certification among high school students.
The Luca John Foundation: Healing Hearts and Giving Hope (February 23) – Kevin and Nickie Baranowski were excited for their ultrasound appointment — they were going to learn the gender of their second child. The sonogram showed that they were expecting another boy, but it also revealed something unexpected – their baby had skeletal dysplasia, a syndrome that affects bone growth. Specifically, he had a lethal form of the disease that affected his ribcage, called short rib polydactyl syndrome. Luca John Baranowski was born on November 10, 2006. After 90 minutes of life, he “forever fell asleep” in his parents’ arms. A few months later, they established the Luca John Foundation. The organization provides financial support to help increase the survivability and quality of life of children diagnosed with skeletal dysplasia and, when needed, provides financial assistance for funeral expenses. “As a parent, you try and protect your child from every harm,” Kevin says, “and when you cannot protect yours, you try to protect others.”
Catherine’s Pure and Kind Spirit is What Guides Us (March 2) – Catherine’s story, as told by her mom and dad, Matt and Jenny Hubbard, begins this way: “Catherine Violet Hubbard was kind. A lover of all animals, she always made it a point to show them extraordinary compassion … Never exclusionary and always kind, Catherine loved all living things, unconditionally. She told us she that when she grew up, she was going to take care of the animals, and was so determined to make this dream a reality …” In December 2012, Catherine was one of the first graders who died in the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School. The Hubbards were determined to keep their daughter’s spirit alive, so they created the Catherine Violet Hubbard Foundation to “enrich the lives of all beings through compassion and acceptance.” Part of that work includes creating the Catherine Violet Hubbard Animal Sanctuary, a place to care for abused, neglected or abandoned animals in need of healing support.
Family Remembers Marine by Honoring Other Fallen Heroes (February 20) – Lance Corporal Ronald H. Hulse, Jr., a very proud 19-year-old Marine, was struck in the head by lightning while training in Japan. He died 13 days later. His mom, Cynthia Anthony, and his stepdad, Cowboy John, started putting flags on his grave to hold down the blankets they put on his grave. They realized that many other Veterans didn’t have flags, so started they putting flags on their graves, too. Now, with the help of the Chloride VFW and Auxiliary 2190, over 180 Veterans buried in the Chloride Cemetery in Chloride, Arizona, receive new flags on their graves twice a year — on Memorial Day and Veteran’s Day.
We Can’t Keep Elysa’s Three Years to Ourselves (February 21) – A few weeks before Elysa Rojas’s third birthday, she came down with a run-of-the-mill virus. It started as a fever and minor fatigue but, by the end of the week, Elysa was vomiting and seemed floppy. Her mom, Jana, took her to the hospital. Elysa was agitated and couldn’t sleep through the night. In the early morning hours, she stopped breathing. Doctors couldn’t resuscitate her, and no one knew what had happened. As it turned out, Elysa died of viral myocarditis, a rare condition in which a typical childhood virus inflames and damages the heart. In the wake of their devastating loss, the Rojas family established the For Elysa Foundation to raise awareness of viral myocarditis, to give hope to children and families affected by pediatric cardiac conditions, and to support research in the field. “We can't keep Elysa’s three years to ourselves,” her mom says. “She was a very bright girl with amazing potential. And now that she’s not physically here to carry that out, we need to do that for her….”
One Year Later, Remembering Charlotte Eades (February 24) – On February 24, 2016, 19-year-old Charlotte Eades died of an inoperable brain tumor. She’d been fighting the disease for nearly three years, having been diagnosed with a rare form of brain cancer in the summer of 2013. Soon after receiving her diagnosis, Charlotte discovered that most cancer support was aimed at adults. She started keeping a candid video blog of her life with cancer, documenting virtually everything, with the intention of helping other young cancer patients. Charlotte’s brother, Miles, and her mom, Alex, recently launched a charity in her honor: Charlotte’s Battle Against Glioblastoma, or Charlotte’s BAG. The foundation is dedicated to raising awareness of this nearly always terminal cancer, and funding much needed research into causes, better treatments, and a cure.
Amy’s Legacy is Changing Lives for the Better (February 21) – By the time she was 24 years old, British singer-songwriter Amy Winehouse had achieved the kind of international acclaim that most musicians only dream of. But despite her early success, Amy struggled with addiction for many years. That struggle lead to her untimely death at the age of 27 from alcohol poisoning. On September 14, 2011 — the day that Amy would have turned 28 — her family established the Amy Winehouse Foundation, an organization dedicated to honoring her life by striving to change others’ lives for the better. The organization truly is a family affair – it was launched by Amy’s dad and step-mom, Mitch and Jane Winehouse; Amy’s mom and step-dad, Janis Winehouse-Collins and Richard Collins, are trustees; and her brother Alex works there full-time. With a staff of 20, many of whom are recovering addicts, the foundation runs the Resilience Program, Amy’s Yard and Amy’s Place.

Live Like John, Because Life Can Change in an Instant (February 28) – On March 31, 2010, 15-year-old John McNicholas woke his parents early in the morning, complaining of a debilitating headache. In the emergency room, Amy and Ed learned that there was a mass in John’s brain. Further tests confirmed that he had a brain tumor. John passed away just 10 months after his diagnosis. Shortly after losing their son, Amy and Ed started the John McNicholas Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation to push for advancements in the care and treatment of pediatric brain tumor patients, and to find a cure. As Amy and Ed see it: “This is not just a story about one child. Our journey has evolved from a personal journey… to a journey of responsibility. The way John lived his life to the fullest and faced his illness with courage and grace has inspired many to ‘Live Like John’. In the spirit of our brave, beloved son, we have created this foundation.”
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The complete netbook version of Tributes to Lost Children – a snapshot of how 147 families have honored their children who have passed away – is publicly available for FREE. Click on the cover image above to navigate to this powerful, heart-warming compilation of tribute stories.
Based on results of the Tributes Survey, three general motivations anchor bereaved families in their tribute activities. See the organizing Tributes Framework that serves as the backbone of the new book Tributes to Lost Children.
Copyright © 2017 Starshine Galaxy Foundation, All rights reserved.

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