Annual ‘Walk to Remember’ to Take Place Virtually

ThedaCare Sponsors Month-long Event to Remember Infants Lost Prematurely

September 29, 2020

NEENAH, Wis. – The 19th annual Walk to Remember will be held virtually in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The event coincides with National Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness month in October.

“The Walk is held every year in support of families who have suffered the loss of an infant through miscarriage, ectopic pregnancy, stillbirth or neonatal death,” said Ashley Ebert, a Registered Nurse (RN) with the Family Birth Center at ThedaCare Regional Medical Center-Neenah. “With the COVID-19 pandemic, we knew it was still extremely important that these families feel connected to one another, which is why we decided to hold a virtual event.” 

ThedaCare is asking those who would like to participate to complete an individual memorial moment any time during the month of October. 

“You can walk a mile, have a small picnic, run a 5K, walk around your block, anything you choose,” said Ebert. “We hope this offers families a time for healing and reflection.” 

After your walk, families can share pictures or comments on the ThedaCare Facebook page or tag @ThedaCare and use the hashtag #AWalkToRemember2020 on your social media account. Walk to Remember is supported by ThedaCare’s Resolve Through Sharing Program. Donations can be made by visiting thedacare.org/donate. A designation has been added for “A Walk to Remember 2020 Virtual Event”. By selecting this designation, donations will be added to the Resolve Through Sharing fund.  

“With each step we take during this month may we honor and remember all the babies who were born silently into this world, those who were born and fought but could not stay, and those we never had the opportunity to meet,” explained Emily Chitko, Registered Nurse (RN) with the Family Birth Center at ThedaCare Regional Medical Center-Neenah. “It is a way for families to say, ‘we miss you, we love you, we remember you always’.”

Ebert and Chitko are bereavement coordinators for the Family Birth Center. Its “Resolve through Sharing” program brings together families who have suffered an infant loss. One in four pregnancies ends in miscarriage. The Centers for Disease Control reports the infant mortality rate was 5.7 deaths per 1,000 live births in 2018. Infant mortality is defined as death before the child’s first birthday.

“Talking about death is very difficult, and more so talking about the death of an infant,” said Chitko. “We hope this virtual event will give families an opportunity to set aside a time to memorialize their infant, in their own special way. We also hope families can connect, offering support to those who have gone through a similar experience.”