Lo-Anne Chan is hoping local families can find peace and connection as the world marks Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Day this Oct. 15.
She’s organizing a Wave of Light Ceremony for Sarnia this Sunday at the Radiant Community Centre, (179 Christina St. N) beginning at 6:45 p.m.
The annual event is held globally to honour those babies lost through miscarriage, stillbirth, medical termination and infant death.
Participants are invited to light a candle at 7 p.m., ‘creating a wave of light around the globe,’ according to the Pregnancy and Infant Loss Network (PAIL), which offers supports to families who have suffered the loss of a pregnancy or the death of their baby/babies.
Last April, Chan’s fifth child — a daughter, Araminta Valeria — passed away about an hour after birth.
“For me, personally, it’s my way of processing my grief and channelling that energy,” said Chan, adding that it can be difficult to find supports locally. “It’s about raising awareness, and also, giving others a space to gather together and speak about it.”
Chan has also created the Valeria Fund to support Bluewater Health’s Maternal Infant Care (MIC) unit and Paediatric Palliative Care team.
“When we were in the hospital with our daughter, Araminta, we felt so supported by the wonderful medical team,” she said. “We were also blessed with beautiful memorial gifts to remember the baby we couldn’t bring home with us. This was all thanks to generous donors.”
Chan wants to ensure the hospital can continue to provide that care to grieving families, along with ‘comfort kits’ for parents with socks, calming teas, and other items.
“We want to ensure that the MIC team can continue to support other grieving families with physical mementos of the babies we cannot carry in our arms, but always in our hearts.”
For more information, contact the PAIL Network at https://pailnetwork.sunnybrook.ca/.
To donate to the Valeria Fund, visit here.