A commemorative plaque will be unveiled as part of the Footprints: Infertility & Pregnancy Loss Initiative. It is a community memorial site where parents and families can create a special place of remembrance for their angel babies. The memorial will be placed along a greenspace at the bird lookout (across from the hospital) on Lakeshore Drive.
The founder of Footprints, Blaise Hunter, put forth a call to action to the public for support back in July and received an overwhelming response. In an effort to show “The Community Cares”, residents of the Lakeland donated funds to assist in the expansion of the Footprints program. With the community funds, Footprints Support Bags are now being distributed at the Bonnyville Medical Clinic and a memorial plaque was created. “This is so surreal,” said Hunter. “I wanted to turn my pain into something meaningful and good for the world and here we are. The Footprints initiative is all about healing and making our babies count and this commemorative space does just that.”
To Observe Pregnancy & Infant Loss Awareness Month, an official unveiling ceremony will take place at the Bird Lookout along Lakeshore Drive (across from the back entrance of the Bonnyville Health Centre) on Thursday, October 11, 2019 at 11:30 am. Everyone from the entire Lakeland is welcome to attend. Residents will now have a physical space to visit all year round and celebrate the brief life they created or honour the dream that didn’t come true.
Town of Bonnyville Mayor, Gene Sobolewski, is excited the town could help provide the space. “We are so proud to be a part of this initiative,” details Sobolewski. “Hunter pitched her idea and we think this an outstanding tribute to commemorate those who have left an imprint on the hearts of the community.”
The mandate for Footprints is a two part mission:
- Improve the systems on the frontlines to ensure parents get the care, information and emotional support the moment their trauma
- Create an on-going support system to continue the efforts for emotional healing in the weeks and months after parents leave the
Hunter runs monthly support group meetings at The Dragonfly Centre for men and women. The next meeting is set for Monday, October 28th at 7 p.m. Footprints is featured on the Alberta Health Services and Covenant Health Pregnancy Loss Support Group’s Regional list and all info and meetings can be found on www.blaisehunter.com as well as the Facebook Group – Footprints: Infertility & Pregnancy Loss Support Group.
Blaise Hunter won the 2019 Cold Lake Women of Influence Award in the Health & Wellness Category for her work with Footprints.
Hunter is so appreciative of the community’s support and generosity. “Words cannot express my gratitude of how much this area has come together and helped me create change, states Hunter. “I found my voice through the grief of losing three babies and now I feel like I have given them a voice as well. They made a mark on this world and Footprints is my legacy and we will never forget the footprints our babies left behind.”