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The death of an infant is tragic, especially when it comes without warning.
Two local mothers who lost children to Sudden Infant Death Syndrome are working to promote awareness to prevent further heartbreak.
On Saturday, Oct. 5, a 5K run and walk for SIDS Awareness will be at Hall High School. The walk is in memory of Evelyn Longeville and Aden Lamps who died in their sleep as infants. Registration will begin at 8 a.m. that day. The walk will start at 9:30 a.m. and be followed by a kids’ fun run. The event is $25 for adults beforehand and $30 the day of the race. Kids 4-11 can enter for $15 before the race and $20 on that day. All ages and strollers are welcome.
Ashley Lamps, co-organizer of the event and mother of Aden, lost her son this past January.
“After he passed, I wanted to do something to spread awareness,” she said.
Lamps, a teacher in Mendota, soon met Angela Longeville who worked at Mendota Community Hospital and also lost her daughter, Evelyn, to SIDS. Longeville said she felt alone after Evelyn passed, but Lamps helped her to learn there are others experiencing the same loss. She also learned there are ways to prevent infant sleeping deaths.
SIDS of Illinois, a statewide program which offers information and support groups, said on its website that more and more doctors are finding that SIDS in not just a mysterious disease that affects some infants. Though some cases are due to unpreventable circumstances, some cases are due to accidental overheating, smothering or strangulation of an infant during sleep.
SIDS of Illinois promotes safe sleep by using a sleeping sack and removing items such blankets and toys from the crib, which can help reduce infant sleeping deaths. Also, they advise placing the infant on its back instead of its belly for sleeping. October is SIDS awareness month and Longeville said the walk is not only about remembrance, but also education.
“We are doing this to prevent it from happening in the future,” said Longeville. “It is devastating.”
“We are very honored that they have chosen to do this walk,” said Nancy Maruyama, executive director of education and community outreach for SIDS of Illinois.
Maruyama said 200 people have registered for the walk so far and says Lamps and Longeville have done a great job organizing the event. All the money collected will stay local as Lamps and Longeville will create information kits and sleeping sacks to give out to expecting mothers at local hospitals.
For more information and registration forms for the walk, visit the SIDS of Illinois website www. sidsillinois.org.