Last month was National Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month. The City Moms Blog Network sites, and social media in general, were filled with stories of loss, strength and hope as parents shared their hearts. Too many mothers experience infertility and loss, and as friends and family, it can be hard to know how to reach out and help in their time of need.
Bonnie Sedan, a friend of mine from college, has faced her own difficult journey in trying to start a family. The road to parenthood hasn’t been easy and has taken turns she wasn’t planning on, but it has also led her to a physical journey that she will take in a few months. Her journey, Camino for a Cause, will honor many who have experienced difficult loss, as well as raise money for an organization that brings support and comfort to families in their greatest time of need.
I asked Bonnie a few questions about her upcoming journey to share with the moms blog community, in hopes that more people can support her on her mission to help others and honor lives taken too soon.
What is Camino for a Cause?
“The Camino” is an ancient pilgrimage that people have been walking for hundreds of years. It begins in France, just before the Pyrenees Mountains in Spain, and ends in Santiago, Spain. The pilgrimage is 498.5 miles in length and I will be walking it to support a cause that is dear to my heart.
After three years facing infertility and a terrible miscarriage along the way, my spouse and I searched for resources online to deal with the grief of what was happening to us. We found few resources, organizations or groups that helped families like ours, making us feel very alone. In my research I learned that 1 in 4 women miscarry their child anywhere from four weeks into pregnancy to nine months into pregnancy. 1 in 3 women and families lose their child directly after birth. 1 in 2 women and families are facing infertility. This was absolutely mind-blowing to me.
After digging online for several days I came across an organization that was making a difference in the lives of women and families who have lost. This organization is Through the Heart. They are a 501(c)(3) non-profit located in Washington D.C. I will be walking 498.5 miles of The Camino, across the length of Spain to help Through the Heart provide more resources and information to women and families who have lost a child and to bring awareness to the subject as so many suffer through these losses alone.
What Inspired You To Walk?
As I travel down my own path of grief I realized I needed to get away from society for a moment and take time to be with myself. I understand that very few people could do this for 41 days, I as will be, and I feel grateful I have this opportunity. When I decided to walk for my own grief, I thought it a great opportunity to also walk for awareness – and others. After finding Through the Heart the pieces all just fell into place.
Why Did You Choose Through the Heart as your Donation Recipient?
Through the Heart has so many great offerings for those who are suffering through a loss.
*Positive writing programs for grief (online and free)
*Comfort Kits (care packages sent for free to a family grieving a loss)
*Share your Story (an online way in which to document and share your story with others)
*Discussion Boards (online, to connect with other families)
*Local Events (to Washington DC)
Currently, and due to an extreme need, resources have been put on hold due to lack of funding. I wish to change that and allow for Through the Heart to continue all the amazing things that they do.
How are You Raising Funds for ‘Camino for a Cause’?
A couple weeks ago I launched a CrowdRise campaign for Camino for a Cause. We have a $10,000 goal, which we hope to meet before mid-December. We have had an overwhelming amount of donors, but we need more. A donation as small as $15 can help provide resources for one family, while $25 can help provide for two. Through the Heart does a great job of utilizing every single dollar donation to provide for those who need it. The campaign can be found here and I encourage all moms to share, and if they are able, donate to this wonderful cause. My plane tickets have been purchased and I’m ready to walk these 500 miles to carry the grief of so many who have lost.
I see that there is a donation option to become a ‘part of your journey’. How can we do that?
For every $100 donation or more (and at your request), I will carry a token for your family, or a family you wish to honor, for the entire 500 mile pilgrimage. I will leave your token at the end of the journey, so please provide items that you are OK with me leaving on the pilgrimage. Your requests after donation can be directly messaged to me through the Camino for a Cause Facebook Page and you can read more about this opportunity to become a part of the journey at Camino for a Cause.
As friends and family to those who are mourning in their loss, it isn’t always easy to know exactly how to reach out and help. Bonnie is providing an amazing opportunity to make a donation in honor of a friend or family member, or children of your own. Any donation, big or small, makes a true impact on not only Bonnie’s journey, but the hearts of those you love.