Tributes To Our Children
This "Tributes to Our Children" page is dedicated as a tribute in loving memory of
Claire Alexis Sachse of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
Chapter 13 of Holding Onto Love: Searching for Hope When a Child Dies includes a discussion of different ways, large and small, that families and/or communities pay tribute to the lives of children who died. Our sons, daughters, brothers and sisters are remembered in many wonderful ways that touch the lives of others. Listed below are just a few examples:
Substance Abuse Treatment Programs
After the death of her beloved son, Nicholas Cristarella, Rhea Nader McVicker was determined to make a positive difference in the lives of other young men struggling with addiction. Three years later, Rhea opened Nick’s Place in Beltsville, Maryland, a facility designed to provide temporary housing for men aged 18 to 25, after completion of a drug or alcohol rehabilitation program. As a private 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, Nick’s Place receives no federal or state government funding. Visit http://www.nicksplace.org to learn more about the program and support Rhea’s efforts with a tax-deductible donation to this wonderful program.
Combating Childhood Diseases
Adorable ten-month-old Bryce Michael Anderson of Virginia spent the next seventeen months of his life in five different hospitals bravely fighting the effects of a leukemia diagnosis. Two years later Bryce succumbed to his disease and complications from his bone marrow transplant at twenty-seven months of age. To honor their son, James and Emily Anderson, established The Bryce Foundation (http://www.BryceFoundation.org) to raise funds for cancer research on behalf of all children, and provide assistance to their families. The foundation’s programs are designed to meet the needs of families with hospitalized children, while recognizing outstanding oncology nurses who provide excellent, compassionate care for their patients.
Claire Alexis Sachse weighed only one pound-two ounces when she was born prematurely at twenty-six weeks gestation in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Claire displayed amazing spirit despite her diminutive size, as she endured surgical procedures on her heart, eyes, and stomach. After being hospitalized for 252 days, Claire’s brave struggle ended when she finally succumbed. In memory of Claire Alexis, her parents, Brett and Kathleen Sachse, have raised funds to support the March of Dimes through direct donations, as well as dedicated walks and runs, in an effort to prevent birth defects, premature births, and reduce the infant mortality rate. The main website for the March of Dimes is http://www.marchofdimes.com.
Following the death of 18 year-old William “Will” Richards Lowden, a talented, young musician, his loving parents, Sue and Paul Lowden established the Will Lowden Scholarship. This special tribute is awarded annually to three deserving jazz studies students enrolled at the Las Vegas Academy of International Studies Performing and Visual Arts. This creative Nevada institution provides challenging courses of study in music, dance, theatre, international studies, or visual arts.
The annual Kelly Elizabeth Baker Memorial Scholarship was created by William (“Bill”) and Andi Baker in memory of their beautiful nineteen year-old daughter who died in 2005. Students enrolled at Kelly’s former school, the Notre Dame Academy in Middleburg, Virginia, are invited to prepare an essay outlining how their senior year of high school has enabled them to improve artistically, scholastically, emotionally, and spiritually. Tax deductible contributions may be sent by check or money order endorsed to NVCF/Kelly E. Baker Memorial Fund, Northern Virginia Community Foundation, c/o Kelly E. Baker Memorial Fund, 8283 Greensboro Drive, McLean, VA 22102.
Martin and Jane Davis, developed a unique scholarship at James Madison University (JMU) in Harrisonburg, Virginia, after their beloved son, Dr. Jonathan Davis, died of suicide. Each year, JMU graduate psychology students are eligible to apply for one financial assistance grant, provided their program of study places special emphasis on suicide prevention and awareness. Application requirements for the Jonathan Davis Memorial Scholarship can be found at http://www.psyc.jmu.edu/gradpsyc/davis_scholarship.html.
Each year Maryland resident Nancy Frank gathers a team of volunteers, as part of the Relay for Life program. This overnight event celebrates cancer survivors, honors those who have died, and raises funds to continue the fight for a cure. Nancy’s late son, Danny, a student at Frostburg State University, participated in this program prior to his death from an unrelated medical condition. As a participant, Danny discovered a great deal about the effects of cancer and was personally affected by the mixture of joy among survivors, as well as the tears of family members whose loved ones died from the disease. Inspired by her son’s determination to fight cancer, Nancy’s dedicated team of volunteers called “From a Mom’s Heart” continues Danny’s efforts to find a cure for this devastating disease.
Each year The Compassionate Friends sponsors a “Walk to Remember” at its annual conference to honor all children who have died. Hundreds of family members travel from all over the country to participate in this activity, designed to remember and cherish all of our children. Anyone interested in this event may check the national website at www.compassionatefriends.org.