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Issue 16-111 — October 15, 2016
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 starmaster@starshinegalaxy.org.

HIGHLIGHTS:
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Today is National Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day

“REMEMBERING OUR BABIES” –
October is National Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month (October 3) – In 1988, President Ronald Reagan designated October as National Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month, saying: “… This month recognizes the loss so many parents experience across the United States and around the world. It is also meant to inform and provide resources for parents who have lost children due to miscarriage, ectopic pregnancy, molar pregnancy, stillbirths, birth defects, SIDS and other causes.” Throughout the month of October, Tributes to Lost Children will share stories about the many different ways that families who have lost babies continue to remember them and celebrate their lives.
 
TRIBUTE PROVIDES FOCUS, PURPOSE –
We Believe That Abby Can Change the World (October 5) – On February 28, 2009, Mindy Mueller’s daughter, Abby, was stillborn. Since then, the Muellers have learned a lot about one of the least understood – or talked about – medical problems. “We will never make any progress in reducing the number of stillbirths if we don't talk about it,” Mindy says. That’s why, on her daughter’s first birthday, Mindy decided to start Abby’s Run. “[The idea] came to me in a dream. Ever since that day, I am compelled to drive change. It doesn’t give me peace, but it gives me focus, determination, and purpose. It makes me feel that I am doing something for my daughter. I also want to keep her memory alive – I don’t want anyone to forget that she existed. I believe we can make a difference … We believe that Abby can change the world.” The 7th annual Abby’s Run will take place in Milwaukee on October 22.
 
CARE BASKETS –
Missing Grace, and Finding Hope (October 11) - Candy and Stephen McVicar started the Missing GRACE Foundation after their firstborn child, Grace, died in utero from an umbilical cord problem. The organization’s name was inspired by the McVicars’ grief and the feelings of missing their daughter, and “missing the chance to hold, love and raise baby Grace….” GRACE is also an acronym that reflects the mission of the foundation, standing for Grieve, Restore, Arise, Commemorate and Educate. Although the foundation supports bereaved parents in a variety of ways, it may be best known for the GRACE Care Baskets it delivers to parents who have lost a child to miscarriage, stillbirth or any other neonatal loss.
SUPERHERO COSTUMES ALLOWED –
Jacob Always Imagined Himself as a Superhero Helping Others (October 7) – On Wednesday, October 5th, 6-year-old Jacob Hall was laid to rest in Townville, South Carolina. The first grader had been shot during school recess by a 14-year-old boy who also shot a teacher and another student. The bullet that hit Jacob’s leg pierced an artery, causing him to lose nearly 75 percent of his blood and requiring multiple surgeries. After a week spent fighting for his life, Jacob went into cardiac arrest and passed away. About a third of Townville’s population came out to mourn Jacob and celebrate his life. Jacob’s mom, Renae Hall, suggested that everyone come in a superhero costume, because “Jacob always imagined himself as a superhero helping others.”
 
BO’S PLACE PROVIDES SUPPORT –
Bo Left Behind a Lasting Legacy of Warmth and Love (October 12) - Larry and Lindy Neuhaus founded Bo’s Place in 1990. In its 26 years, the bereavement center has helped countless families travel through their own grief journey. The Neuhaus’s endeavor was inspired by and named for their son, Laurence Bosworth “Bo” Neuhaus, Jr., who was diagnosed with a rare and deadly form of liver cancer when he was 10 years old. Doctors told Bo’s parents that he probably wouldn’t survive longer than 3 months. Bo lived for two and a half years. As the website for Bo’s Place puts it: “Bo left behind a lasting legacy of warmth and love that is reflected in the programs at Bo’s Place. In this spirit, the tears at Bo’s Place are tears that heal, bringing with them hope and recovery so children, teens, and adults can grieve and move forward.”

CAL’S ANGELS FIGHTING CANCER –
Cal Has Inspired a Lot of People to Do a Lot of Good (October 14) – For children who are fighting cancer, Cal’s Angels is a source of support, hope and love. The organization, which was founded by Tom and Stacey Sutter in 2007 in honor of their son, Cal, does everything it can to give kids who are fighting cancer – and their families – help when they need it most. Cal Sutter never gave up hope after he was diagnosed with leukemia – during his 14-month battle with the disease, Cal was always more concerned about the well-being of other children fighting cancer than he was about himself. To that end, Cal’s Angels truly serves to keep Cal’s legacy going. As the organization itself notes, its mission and purpose to grant wishes, raise awareness and fund research to help kids fighting cancer “continues Cal’s legacy of always caring about others above anything else.”
CREATING SAFE SLEEP ENVIRONMENTS –
His Little Life Had a Purpose (October 4) – Lukas Lynch died in 2013, just a few days shy of his 4-month birthday. His in-home daycare provider had swaddled him and laid him down for a nap in a pack ‘n play with loose sheets; when Lukas rolled over, he suffocated. Lukas’s mom, Sara Lynch, began working for the Michigan Safe Sleep Advisory Committee so that she could help educate parents on how to create a safe sleep environment for their babies. It all starts with the ABC’s, Sara says: “Alone in their own bed, on their back, and in a crib.” When asked about the work that she does in honor of Lukas, Sara says “His little life had a purpose, and it might be my purpose to carry on his purpose.”
 
MEMORY BOOKS –
We Can Make Sure Their Story Doesn’t End … (October 10) – Tim and Kelly Gerken know what it means to be bereaved parents theyve lost three of their five children. Their twin daughters, Faith and Grace, were stillborn at 26 weeks, and their son, Thomas, was diagnosed with Potters Syndrome in utero, a fatal condition in which kidneys and lungs dont form properly. Thomas lived for six hours after he was born. Losing Faith, Grace and Thomas inspired Kelly to offer support and guidance to newly bereaved parents. She formed a perinatal hospice and bereavement service to support parents who have lost babies in utero, at birth, or shortly after. She is also the founder and President of Sufficient Grace Ministries, a non-profit organization that helps bereaved families create memory books of their children.
DO YOU HAVE TRIBUTE INFORMATION TO SHARE?
Post it here:
Click to access sign-up form.
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 © 2016 Starshine Galaxy Foundation, All rights reserved.


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