Why We Walk: Edward Hospital hosting its annual A Walk to Remember fundraiser Oct. 14

  • Kristen, left, Jonathon, Nicholas and Rachel Tobin lead the annual A Walk to Remember in 2022. This year's event to benefit Edward Hospital's SHARE program, for families who have lost a baby due to miscarriage, ectopic, stillbirth or early neonatal death, will be Saturday, Oct. 14.

    Kristen, left, Jonathon, Nicholas and Rachel Tobin lead the annual A Walk to Remember in 2022. This year's event to benefit Edward Hospital's SHARE program, for families who have lost a baby due to miscarriage, ectopic, stillbirth or early neonatal death, will be Saturday, Oct. 14. Courtesy of Edward Hospital

 
 
Posted10/5/2023 12:01 AM

Every year, many expectant families leave the hospital without their baby in their arms, lost due to miscarriage, stillbirth or other complications.

Edward Hospital offers a team of nurses, social workers and chaplains to offer support to grieving families during this time of unbearable loss.

 

The Naperville hospital also offers the support groups SHARE and Sharing HOPE. Started in 1989, these groups offer a place for parents who have lost a child during pregnancy to talk about their feelings and know they are not alone.

Participants in the support groups do not need to be a patient of Edward-Elmhurst Health to attend the meetings.

"Pregnancy loss affects one in four women. It is much more common than most people assume, yet most are not comfortable talking about it," said Susan Villa, RN, System Perinatal Bereavement coordinator, in an email.

Events leading up to the fundraiser's walk include family activities and a memorial service featuring music, poetry and a reading of baby names.
Events leading up to the fundraiser's walk include family activities and a memorial service featuring music, poetry and a reading of baby names. - Courtesy of Edward Hospital

"Grief can be a very lonely place. SHARE provides a community, a family, to support one another and not walk their loss journey alone."

On Saturday, Oct. 14, Edward Hospital will host its annual A Walk to Remember at the Riverwalk Grand Pavilion, 912 Honorary Sindt Memorial Court, west of Centennial Beach in downtown Naperville.

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To register for this free event, visit EEHealth.org/walktoremember.

Check-in, registration and family activities will begin at 8:30 a.m. A memorial service featuring music, poetry and a reading of baby names will be held at 9:30 a.m., followed by a 1-mile walk at 10:15 a.m.

According to Villa, proceeds from the walk will not only benefit SHARE's counseling services, bereavement training, and the hospital's Wings of Hope Angel Garden, but a portion will be going toward the construction of a bereavement room at Edward Hospital.

The bereavement room will be located outside of the Mother Baby and Labor & Delivery units and will provide a space for families grieving a recent loss.

For more information about SHARE, visit EEHealth.org/SHAREResources.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

Villa answers more questions about the programs and the upcoming Walk to Remember.

Q: What is SHARE? Give a brief overview of what the organization does and who you serve.

A: SHARE is a national bereavement support program for parents who experience the loss of a pregnancy through miscarriage, ectopic, stillbirth or early neonatal death. The SHARE chapter at Edward Hospital was started in 1989.

This year's proceeds from A Walk to Remember will not only benefit the SHARE support group, but will also go toward a new bereavement room at Edward Hospital.
This year's proceeds from A Walk to Remember will not only benefit the SHARE support group, but will also go toward a new bereavement room at Edward Hospital. - Courtesy of Edward Hospital

Q: How many people do you serve each year?

A: The SHARE program serves approximately 1,000 families annually. There is no cost to attend our support program and participants do not need to be a patient of Edward-Elmhurst Health to attend the SHARE support groups.

SHARE meets the second and fourth Tuesdays of each month from 7:15-9:15 p.m. in the hospital's Education Center, third floor. The group meets online the first Tuesday of each month from 8 to 9:30 p.m.

Q: What are some of the other programs you offer?

A: Aside from the SHARE Pregnancy and Infant Loss support group, we also have a support group called Sharing HOPE (Having Optimistic Pregnancy Expectations) for parents who are either pregnant following a loss or considering pregnancy after experiencing a loss.

Sharing HOPE meets at Edward on the second Thursday of each month from 7:15-9:15 p.m. in the hospital's Education Center, third floor. The group also meets online the fourth Thursday of each month from 8 to 9:30 p.m.

We also host several community events throughout the year.

• May -- Luminary Ceremony (adult only) in recognition of Still-Mother's Day on the first Saturday of the month.

• June -- Annual Garden Blessing in our Wings of Hope Angel Garden.

• October -- Walk to Remember

• December -- Remembrance Service

Q: Where do the majority of your funds come from to support your work?

A: All of our funds are raised through donations. The Walk to Remember is our biggest fundraiser of the year.

Q: Tell us about the upcoming A Walk to Remember.

A: Donations from the SHARE Walk to Remember benefit the Edward Foundation's SHARE program, helping to fund support groups, counseling services, activities and events, education and bereavement training, resource and reference materials, special projects and program supplies -- tools to help guide families through the grieving process. More information can be found online at eehealth.org/services/pregnancy-baby/resources/share-walk/.

Q: How can readers help your organization?

A: Any donations help us continue to support parents who experience the loss of their baby, provide education to our staff, and continue to support our community.

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