February 12, 2017
Dear family and friends,
2016 has been a very difficult year for my husband, Brett, and I. On April 26, 2016, we lost our son Emmett John Michael Finnell. He was born at 18.5 weeks and suffered from several different conditions -- a massive cystic hygroma, fetal hydrops (fluid filled his heart/lungs), and a chromosome issue called Turner's Syndrome. (Click here to read Emmett's full story)
The months that have passed since that early spring day have been trying for us. We have found comfort in family and friends but also in the support services provided by the Tears Foundation's Massachusett's Chapter. We are grateful to have met this caring group of people who have been there for us to share in the tears and the grief.
One in four women experience pregnancy or infant loss within the first year. Our hope is that this walk and sharing our son's story will help provide comfort and solace to other families experience similar situations.
This walk has provided us a great outlet during the past few weeks and months to channel our grief into positive energy to help others in need in our community and surrounding states.
It's my hope that no woman and her family has to feel isolated and alone when the worst-possible outcome happens. People have used the adjectives of "brave" and "courageous" to describe my family and I sharing our story. I don't think of it that way. I think of it as just being human. We are all people. We have feelings. It's time we acknowledge those feelings and end the stigma of talking about pregnancy and infant loss.
The TEARS Foundation's Rock & Walk is the signature fundraising event for TEARS. This annual event allows registered walkers to “walk” in honor of a child, or simply in support of others. Each team of walkers is also registered to “rock” in the rocking chairs placed at the event site. Rocking chairs signify the heart of the walk, which is to raise funds for families who have lost a baby and are in need of funeral assistance and emotional support services.
Location: Algonquin Regional High School
79 Bartlett St
Northborough, MA 01532
Time: 10am- 1pm
There are several ways to get involved with Emmett's Sole Mates and our Rock & Walk team:
1. Register to Walk and Attend the Event
Registration is $10 (no t-shirt included) for adults, children 12 and under receive free admission. You may purchase a personalized Rock & Walk t-shirt (extra fee) by May 25, 2017.
2. Fundraise to support our team
Each team member can create their own fundraising page. Ask your family and friends to support your fundraising effort. It takes more than one ask to usually get a "yes". It can sometimes be difficult to ask for money, so if you have questions, please ask Brett and Christina for ideas to get started. Have a bake sale, put a loose change container in your cube, clear out your closets with a rummage sale, instead of your daily coffee fix - save your caffeine and make a small gift...the sky's the limit!
3. Make a donation to support our team
Each dollar raised goes to help bereaved families in your community after the loss of a child. Funeral assistance, emotional support, and other programs are offered because of your fundraising efforts.
Thank you for helping us support bereaved families in Massachusetts!
P.S. If you have any questions about how to make a gift or how to join our team, please don't hesitate to contact me. I'm here to help!