Jalen's Gift Foundation helps grieving parents
Photo: Video by ktnv.com
Las Vegas, NV (KTNV) -- There is a little boy named Jalen who is making a big impact on our city.
He lived for six months in his mother's womb but a strep B infection took his life before he was born. Now, Jalen's Gift Foundation is making Las Vegas a better place to live.
The scrapbook tells the story of two excited parents, the day they learned they were pregnant and the ultrasounds that followed.
Everything was perfect until Gabriela Foster went into labor several months early. "By the time I got to the hospital I was 6 cm in full labor. 102 fever. When they checked baby's heartbeat, they told me he was gone."
Jalen was gone. And his devastated parents had to break the news to their oldest daughter. "I called her and told her you're not going to school today. She said why? Is the baby born? I said, 'Your baby brother is in heaven.' And she just broke down crying."
But the most painful part was walking into the hospital pregnant and walking out with nothing. Now Jalen's parents want to make sure that doesn't happen to anyone else.
"The parent will write. Sorry for your loss. In honor of my baby, I created a package for you. They get to write their baby's date and name. And the person getting it knows they're not alone."
Out of the heartache, a beautiful idea was born. The Fosters started Jalen's Gift Foundation. Now, when a parent loses a baby, they get a beautiful gift box created by another family who lost their baby.
Inside is a blanket to cry on, a canvass for their baby's foot or hand print, an angel bear to hold and a scrapbook that acknowledges life. "A certificate of life. Because we don't get a certificate of life, we get a death certificate."
A gift from Jalen. So that other parents will say his name. So that no one will forget his life mattered. So that the next grieving parent will know they're not alone.
In addition to the boxes, Jalen's Gift Foundation helps cover funeral costs and offers a support group.
Several prominent doctors in town, Dr. Wilkes and Dr. Adeshack, often come to answer questions.
They are holding a vigil Oct. 15 at the District to celebrate all of the babies lost. It's free, and it will be a celebration.
They need volunteers. If you'd like to help or participate in that event, click here.