The Baby Steps 5k and 1 Mile Memorial walk is coming up and we were able to talk with Abby Nicholas, one of the events founder’s to learn more about how this run came to be, and why the Amelia Center is so important to her.
Abby shared with us the emotional roller coaster she and her husband experienced after they were married in 1998 and spent many unsuccessful years trying to start their family. Like many other couples, they decided to proceed with IVF and became pregnant with twin boys. The pregnancy progressed and was on target until she went into pre-term labor at 22 weeks. Sadly she experienced one of the worst fears of every expectant Mom, Braden Lee and Brody Lee were stillborn.
In her grief, Abby turned to the Amelia Center, and has become active in many organizations that support infant loss and NICU care.
The Amelia Center, located in Birmingham, is now twenty years old. It offers individual grief counseling to parents and grandparents who have suffered the loss of a child and to children who have lost siblings. In addition, the center offers family and group therapy, and educational opportunities for professionals (teachers, clergy and first responders) all who work with grief-stricken individuals. All counseling services are free to the participants. Since its inception in 1997, the compassionate staff of The Amelia Center have brought hope and smiles and understanding to hundreds of people who thought their lives were over. It is supported not only by Children’s but by the generous donations of community members.
Abby and co-founder Loni Hodge organized the Baby Steps Memorial Run out of a desire to assist in the healing process for families who have also suffered the loss of a child. They want to bring awareness about The Amelia Center to the community and to raise funds to help support a center that plays such a vital role in the lives of many grieving families. All contributions from this event allow The Amelia Center to continue to offer services and support to grieving families throughout the community. The Baby Steps Memorial Run allows us the opportunity to bring many families together and set aside a day to remember and honor loved ones. It is a day of celebration and a day for families to know they are not alone on their grief journey.
In it’s 10th year, the Baby Steps Memorial Run has grown to about 600 participants. If you and your family would like to participate in memory of someone you’ve lost or to support someone you know that has, the 2018 run is set to take place on Saturday, September 29th at Tannehill State Park. There will be a Kids Zone, Bounce House, face painting, balloons and live music.