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A Local Non-Profit Seeks to Break the Silence about Pregnancy and Infant Loss

A Local Non-Profit Seeks to Break the Silence about Pregnancy and Infant Loss

by Sabrina Bjornstad, The TEARS Foundation Media Contact

The TEARS Foundation

Posted on April 16, 2013 at 1:18 PM

Updated Wednesday, Nov 6 at 10:51 PM

Did you know that one in four women experience pregnancy or infant loss? The Crawford family is one in four. They tell their story here.

That’s why the TEARS Foundation, a 501 (c)(3) non-profit organization headquartered in Puyallup, invites the community to be apart of a fundraising effort to support families who have experienced the loss of a child.

The eighth annual Rock & Walk for babies will be held at Cheney Stadium from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. June 15, letting bereaved families know they are not alone, raising funds to support families that have experienced the loss of a child and building community awareness about pregnancy and infant loss. Over 1,000 community members are expected to attend.

Participants in the Walk & Rock event are encouraged to register today at

Along with that effort, The TEARS Foundation, which seeks to compassionately lift the financial and emotional burden from families who have lost a child, is launching a “one in four” campaign to draw more attention to pregnancy and infant loss, support grieving parents and encourage preventative research.

According to Seattle Children's Hospital, there are approximately 26,000 stillborn babies (the death of a baby after 20 weeks gestation) in the United States each year – averaging one every 21 minutes.

Can you imagine hearing the words “I’m sorry there is no heartbeat”?

That’s the story of Sarah Slack, The TEARS Foundation’s Founder.

On November 14, 2000, Sarah’s son, Jesse Curtis Slack, was stillborn at 24 weeks gestation.

Sarah says:
It's hard for people to understand that have never experienced the death of a baby or a child. Even when your baby never took one breath, each mother and father had hopes and dreams for their child that died right along with their baby. It's unnatural, holding a dead baby. And, it's something that changes the person that you are. For me, I took time to heal and mourn the loss of my precious boy. And two years after he died, I started planting the seeds to begin helping others who go through this terrible loss. The TEARS Foundation is now ten years old and has helped thousands of families across the country with financial assistance for their baby's funeral as well as emotional support. From one tiny lost baby who was loved and wanted so desperately, came one huge legacy that will continue to help millions of grieving families in the years to come.

“Research into the prevalence and causes of stillbirth is ongoing, but meanwhile, many parents suffer this devastating loss, largely in silence, due to persistent stigma and taboo.” --Global Alliance to Prevent Prematurity and Stillbirth

Additionally, more than 500,000 pregnancies each year end in miscarriage during the first 20 weeks, according to the March of Dimes.

‘Grieving the loss of a child is often referred to as ‘silent grief’ because it’s not socially recognized,” said Sarah. Since then, TEARS has helped more than 4,500 families across 13 states. “While The TEARS Foundation seeks to compassionately support these families, our community plays an important role in having awareness of pregnancy and infant loss.”

The TEARS Foundation has also launched the Charlie and Braden Project, in honor of Charlie and Braden Powell, providing support services to families that have lost a child from one to 12 years old. For more information, please visit