Paying tribute to babies taken too soon, many gather in KCK to raise awareness, offer support

KANSAS CITY, Kan. -- Healing through remembrance had folks gathering in Huron Park in Kansas city, Kan., on Monday night to remember babies, and the unborn who were taken before they could live.

The event sparked a new city proclamation. Mayor Mark Holland proclaimed October "Pregnancy and Infant Loss Month," after sharing that he and his wife also lost an unborn child several years ago.

FOX 4 heard from several who say consider the rate in which it happens in Wyandotte County, more awareness is needed. A double rainbow was a fitting backdrop for an event highlighting something to smile about after the storms of life.

Ashley Anderson lit a candle for her daughter, Jade Marie, who would have turned 2 this year.

"I carried her 42 weeks and 3 days and when I went to the hospital, her heart wasn't beating during delivery," said Anderson.

Ashley highlighted the surreal moments after she found out.

"You go to the hospital with hopes of having a child and never think that there's a reality you could leave the hospital without a baby,” said Anderson.

Then came a battle of depression, and feelings of isolation until she had a breakthrough after creating 'My Angel Lives.' It`s a support group for other families who have also lost babies and unborn children. It’s something Mayor Holland can relate to. He opened up about his own loss.

That`s why aside from offering support, groups like 'Project Hope' does what it can to understand why infant mortality happens and works to prevent it.

"We review cases. We look at each case, each baby and we have a team of professionals that review those cases and then make recommendations to a community action team,” said Jennifer Allen, a maternal interviewer for Project Hope.

As the names of each baby were read, Allen wanted all to understand something..

"I want them to take away that ever baby matters," said Allen.

Anderson wants them to know it`s okay for them and their loved ones to talk about their angel babies.

"You can help foster that hope and restoration by not making people not feel alone. You can make them not feel alone by making them feel a part of that journey and making them feel like their child is still a part of the journey even though they’re not physically present,” said Anderson.

"Co-sleeping" said to be a big factor in infant mortality rates in Wyandotte County. To reach out for help please click the links below: