I'm running the 2019 NYC Marathon in support of First Candle because I have a friend who lost her first baby to SIDS. It was many years ago in China and there wasn't much known about SIDS then. Anything we can do to raise awareness for parents, and to find ways to reduce the occurance of SIDS is a great reason for anyone to get involved.
Last May, I ran the Sugarloaf Marathon in Maine, and it felt great. I have been trainig rigorously, as you can see in the picture, and keep running while travelling to beautiful places all over the world, including Beijing, Shanghai, Tokyo, Seoul, New Orleans, my hometown Lujiang, and of course Wilton. I'm looking forward to taking on the challenge of New York this year!
Every year 3,600 babies die from SIDS and other sleep-related infant deaths
This is the leading cause of death for babies one month to one year of age. First Candle is committed to ending SIDS and other sleep-related infant deaths while providing bereavement support to families who have tragically experienced a loss.
79% of these deaths occur in the parent's bed or in a crib that includes blankets, pillows or stuffed animals. The rate of SIDS can be dramatically reduced by following the safe sleep guidelines developed by The American Academy of Pediatrics. Health inequities, social determinants and cultural beliefs play key factors in a parent's ability and/or willingness to adopt these recommendations. Our program, Straight Talk for Infant Safe Sleep, trains nurses, social workers and other community care providers on the Safe Sleep guidelines, the reasoning behind them and how to work with families to incorporate them into their family structure.
There will always, however, be families who need our support when they have lost a baby. For them we provide a grief line, online support groups, peer support volunteers who meet in person and bereavement support materials.
We envision a day where every baby reaches his or her first birthday. Until then we will continue to educate care providers and parents on the importance of creating a safe sleep environment for every nap time and bed time.
We are a national member in good standing of Community Health Charities, have a Gold ranking on Guide Star, and a 3-star ranking on Charity Navigator. We are proud to maintain administrative costs well below the nonprofit industry standard of 25 percent.