DeLanee's Story

10 years ago, Becky and Tommy, were blessed to be pregnant with their second child. Shortly thereafter they learned that they were going to be parents to a little girl, but the probability of their daughter living for very long was extremely low. Their daughter was diagnosed with a condition called Dandy-Walker Cyst. The doctors believed that their baby girl would deteriorate and pass away during pregnancy, but much to their surprise DeLanee developed until 28 weeks gestation when she was delivered and lived for three hours. As you can imagine, these 3 hours was precious time that they spent as a family with their daughter taking pictures, bathing, dressing and holding her until she passed away in their arms. Upon DeLanee's passing, the nurses brought the family a box to put their daughter’s belongings in to take home with them. Because DeLanee was born in January the nurses were able to find a leftover Christmas box. That Christmas box became extremely special to them and they clung to it and the contents inside that held their daughter’s precious belongings as they left the hospital without their baby. It was because of this box that the inspiration for Lanee’s Legacy began. . .

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Set your DVRs!

We have some very exciting news to share with you!

Thanks to a couple of our mother's who support our organization, we were nominated and chosen to be the May, 2011 recipient honoree of an award called "12 Who Cares" from News Channel 12!

We are both honored and exited to participate in this and sincerely appreciate the opportunity to create awareness and involve others in our cause to support bereaved parents. We feel like this is a tremendous blessing to our organization and sincerely thank those who believed in us enough to nominate us.

So. . .the date is set for a week from today! Set your DVRs to watch Arizona Midday next Tuesday, May 3rd between 1:00 and 2:00. If your a News Channel 12 fan, you will also see a commercial going on and off for the entire month of May about our organization as well.

Also included in this award is a donation in the amount of $1,200.00 and a luncheon that we will get to attend. We're so exicted about all of this!

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Sponsor a Box(s)

There are many ways to assist and help our organization and we particularly love this idea and wanted to share. Although Lanee's Legacy began in remembrance of DeLanee, it is something that we would like ALL moms, families and supporters to feel a part of. Last fall, we received a very generous donation from a loving family who wanted to do something in their baby's honor, Gavin Macrae. We received a check in the amount of $1,000 to our organization. We were overwhelmed with their generosity and wanted anyone who received a box to know that the box that they were receiving was made possible because of Gavin. Since that time, we have donated 40 boxes in his name to our list of hospitals.
This is what 40 boxes looks like:

When a mom receives a box, she will notice on the bottom of the box that a fellow mom who has also experienced a loss gave back to her. I hope that when she sees this that she will know that she is not alone. That she will feel the love that Gavin's family had for her by helping her to receive a box.

One of the labels on 40 of Gavin's boxes:

If your interested in doing this, here is how the numbers break down. One box costs approximately $25.00 to create and fill. When we hold a box making, we put together 40 boxes. . .which equals $1,000.00. We welcome your sponorship in the form of just one box or you can host a box making night by helping us to complete 40 boxes. We have also received donations from businesses who would like to show mother's their support in this same way. Recently, Drs. Bock and Connel at American Family Chiropractic and Rehab also donated $1,000.00 in which we will put a label on the bottom of the box so that mother's know that their business is one that cares for them and what they are going through. If you have any questions about this or would like to host a box making night, please don't hesitate to contact us.

************************************************************************************ On another note, our two box making nights for the month of April will take place in Snowflake Arizona. A portion of the boxes we put together will remain in the White Mountain area at Summit Hospital and the rest will be distributed to valley hospitals. If you live in the White Mountain area and would like to come, here's the details of these box making nights:

- Thursday, April 28th at 6:30 p.m. will take place at the LDS Chapel by Pioneer Park in Snowflake, AZ.

- Saturday, April 30th at 9:00 a.m. will take palce at the LDS Chapel near the golf course in Snowflake, AZ.

Snowflake and Taylor is actually where a lot of the Lanee's Legacy board members have grown up and still have roots to. I just love how in small towns, no specific address is needed. Directions are always given in the form of "go past the big oak tree, turn right after the cattle guard and then left when you see Mr. Flake's old red horse". HA! Totally off the subject though, right?

Anyway, feel free to come, participate and bring whoever you would like. Can't wait to visit our home town and put these boxes together with so many familiar faces!

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Box Making in Suprise, Arizona

A few weeks ago we went to Suprise, Arizona to do a box making with Kami Perry and some of her friends who have also lost babies. You may remember Kami from her sharing the story of her sweet boy Kooper right before our breakfast fundraiser.

This was a different experience for us. It was very tender. We have been to box makings before knowing that their had been moms who had received a box, or, experienced the loss of a baby. What is different about this one is that their were 4 mothers who had all had a loss within the last 2 years!! We were so sad to hear this. They invited those women to tell the stories of their babies before we got started. We really enjoyed the opportunity to listen to them as they shared their stories. They all did so wonderful. I know it was very hard for some of them. Their was one lady who's loss was very, very recent and raw and we appreciate all of them. You could tell that they were very tight knit and you could see how their trials had brought them closer and how they have leaned on each other and helped each other through the challenging moments.

Below (left to right) in between the black shirts are:
Cheri, Jessica, Kami and Christy:

Kami's blog has much better pictures than what we ended up with, so I'd like for you to visit her blog to see how our night went and hear her perspective of doing the boxes. You can see it here. Christy, who has received a box, also has blogged about this night and you can view it here.


If you are interested in attending a box making night like the one above, we want you to feel welcome to come. I know this is short notice, but we have two box makings in Feburary and they are coming up pretty quick

The first one is on Thursday, February 10th, in Queen Creek at 7:00 p.m. The address is: 22424 S Meridian Rd., Queen Creek, AZ 85142.

The second one is Tuesday, February 15th in North Mesa at 7:00 p.m. The directions I have is that it is at the 68th block of Preston in NE Mesa. 1 block west of Power and north of McDowell.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Happy Birthday DeLanee - 7 Years

It's a special day for Lanee's Legacy. It was 7 years ago today that the inspiration behind this organization was born. Today, DeLanee would be 7 years old.

We had a box making a couple of nights ago where Sandy Harenberg who is the bereavement coordinator at Banner Good Samaritan Hospital attended. She experienced the loss of her daughter, Casey, 25 years ago. 25 years! Wow! I can't yet wrap my mind around grieving my daughter for that many years - although I know I will. She spoke for us that night and told us how each year has changed for her. Her eyes were full of tears as she told us, "this is 25 years you guys". "It's been 25 years and I am standing here crying". She went on to say that she doesn't cry every day, but that she is still very much effected by the life of her daughter. She says as a nurse that she must enter into the computer her patient's birthdates and that every time she enters a date of "1985" she remembers that it could be her daughter having a baby (or losing a baby). Those little reminders.

This is us with Sandy and also Brock Sherwood who helped
with this box making night to complete his Eagle Scout project:

I told Sandy that I had just passed kindergarten. She's not only has passed that stage, but also her daughter being old enough to drive a car, graduate high school, get married and now old enough to have babies. Old enough for her to have grandbabies.

I'm amazed at the past 7 years. How they've flown by, but at times, stood still. I'm thankful for every moment of this experience that I've been able to have. It has been the hardest sweetest experience I have ever had and believe I probably ever will. My daughter has changed me and made me into who I am today. I'm thankful for the lessons I've learned and who she's helped me to become. I know I have so far to go, but am thankful for where I am. She's brought our family closer together. She's changed not only me, but my living children, my marriage and those who have been touched by her.

Before she came into my life, I was a different person. I feel stronger in knowing that I was able to overcome one of the most dificult experiences in my life. Throughout these past seven years I have felt loved from so many different people and places as I've shared my story. This love that I have been so blessed to feel is the same love that we as volunteers hope to include in each one of our boxes that we donate. Losing a child is such an extremely difficult thing to endur, but I hope that by receiving one of Lanee's Legacy's boxes that they not only feel loved by a fellow mother who has walked their same road, but feel uplifted in knowing that they are not alone as they do.

When I had DeLanee, Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep, wasn't yet in existence. I am thankful for the pictures I was able to get and for my mom who was smart enough to coax me into getting some of the ones that I did. I do wish I could have had a professional there to help me capture some of our moments together. I also had always wished for a video. Well, this year, I decided to give myself a birthday gift for DeLanee's special day by making my own. So, although, it's not professional, I'm thankful for every little thing I have.

I'm sharing it here today with you. Happy Birthday to DeLanee!

Monday, January 10, 2011

"Loops for Logan"

One of the best parts about being involved with Lanee's Legacy is that we get the opportunity to meet amazingly people who are strong, who care and have big hearts who want to help. Marlo Alder is one of these people. I met Marlo in May of last year when she contacted me and shared her heartbreaking story with me. Marlo's story is exactly the reason why this organization exists. Our mission and purpose is to ensure that parents don't have experiences similar to her's. Since meeting Marlo, we have cried together, planned together, worked together, laughed together and planned some more! She is an amazing person that has had an incredible loss, had a less than perfect experience in the hospital at the time of her loss, but has turned her grief into something good that has helped others.

I'd like to share a little bit of Marlo's story by doing so in her own words. This was Marlo's first e-mail to me:

My name is Marlo Alder and I have followed your blog for some time now. I lost my baby back in November at TMC hospital in Tucson. My experience was so hard, I had HELLP syndrome at 17 weeks. They had to take our baby, we found out that we were having a baby boy just hours before we had him. What makes this harder is that we had done invitro to have this our third baby. Well, long story short, because we had lost the baby they had me go to the women's center to recover for 2 days. It was the most awful experience. I felt forgotten, alone {My husband was there, and was awesome!!}, and that nobody cared that I had just lost my baby. They gave me a box that had a bear and some papers about how to grieve. We didnt take any pictures, and did nothing special. We had no idea what to do. So I am writing you and asking if there is anything I can do in my area, so that people don't have to go through, what I had to. I live in Pima which is by Safford. The hospital is Mt. Graham. It's a small town and I don't know if there is any program here. I didn't deliver here, so I am not sure. I think what you are doing is so touching. I admire you and your love. Let me know. Thanks, Marlo.

Marlo did NOT receive one of Lanee's Legacy boxes. She did not have any items to help her capture precious memories with her son. She wasn't even given the opportunity to see him. She was caught in a whirlwind, not doing physically well herself and didn't have anything to help. When she first shared her experience with me, my heart broke. I'd never met her before, but I just wanted to reach out, grab her and hug her.

As our conversations continued, she told me how she was determined to ensure that no other mom had an experience such as her's. We planned a box making night in her area and left those boxes for her to deliver to her local hospital (Mt. Graham Medical Center). She has already felt her efforts come full circle as she has had friends experience a loss. How amazing for her to know that because of Logan and her efforts, those friends have been able to feel the love that she had for them by helping to create the boxes to ensure they were available for them when needed. What an amazing thing she has done!

Here's some pictures of our box making night in Pima, Arizona back in September, 2010:

It was an awesome turnout! One of our biggest groups to do boxes with. Not only did she have the women from her church group there, but the nursing department from her local college was there too. We felt so blessed to be a part of this night and to meet such amazing people!

Although her story is heartbreaking, her son, Logan, has had a tremendous effect on her life. Marlo is full of faith and Logan remains a big part of their family. She has turned her experience into something good by helping others and has made sure that Lanee's Legacy's boxes are now in the two hospitals she was in with the hope that no other mother will have to experience what she did.

Don't think that her story ends there! She has also organized a fundraiser in her town where the proceeds of what is earned will benefit Lanee's Legacy. I told you she's amazing, didn't I?!?
On January 22, 2010, there will be a charity roping called "Loops for Logan" that will be held at the Alder arena in Pima, Arizona. For those of you who are not familiar with what a "roping" is - - its a cowboy thing! Think two guys, each on a horse, roping a steer for the fastest time.

Marlo and her Husband are country people (who just so happen to be some of my favorite kind of people) and when she was thinking of how she could help raise funds for Lanee's Legacy's boxes, she thought of something that would fit into her life, something she knew about and would work for her! I love it!! I can't wait to attend this event and be a part of this celebration of Logan, who he is and the amazing Mother he has in planning and coordinating something so great for the benefit of others!
In the meantime, if you'd like to help out with a box making we have 2 opportunities left in January.
January 20th - Suprise 1st Ward, 14916 N Sarival Avenue, Suprise, Arizona @ 7:00 p.m.
January 25th - Gilbert 9th Ward, 1150 E. Guadalupe, Gilbert, Arizona @ 7:00 p.m.
Feel free to come and help out. Any donations you bring will be greatly appreciated!