SIDS America launches informative website about SIDS

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Less than two years ago, the world came crashing in on Bill and Cheryl Darnell, SIDS America founders, when they went to wake their infant son, Billy, for his morning feeding and found him dead. Billy, who had seemed perfectly healthy just a few hours earlier, had fallen victim to Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, the leading cause of death among infants between 1 and 12 months of age in America.

"There were no warning signs, and there remains no explanation for the heartbreaking death of our little boy," Cheryl said. "With so many hopes and dreams shattered, we simply couldn't imagine how life could possibly continue."

Life did continue for the Darnells, despite their tremendous grief. In fact, Billy's death pushed the family to see life in a whole new way and to use their experience to help other families like them.

Just days before what would have been Billy's 2nd birthday, SIDS America has launched, offering a wealth of resources about SIDS, including risk factors and preventive measures.

To encourage people to visit the site and spread the word about SIDS America, generous donors have offered a challenge gift of $2,500, provided the organization can obtain 500 online donations of any size before the end of November. November 1 would have been Billy's 2nd birthday, and his parents hope that this challenge will honor his memory as supporters help get the word out about their mission.

Through, parents who have had a child die of SIDS can apply for financial aid to help cover medical, funeral and burial expenses associated with their child's death.

"SIDS hits unexpectedly, and families are often not able to cover the tremendous financial burden that comes with the death of a child," Bill said. "They just can't heal with that. That's why we started our financial aid program."

The new SIDS America site also gives families an opportunity to share their story of loss, hope and healing while connecting with other families through their stories.

"Bill and I took tremendous comfort in connecting with other families who had lost babies to SIDS," Cheryl said. "There is something so powerful about hearing their stories and knowing that they survived. It makes you realize that you really can make it. There is hope... And that's what Bill and I want more than anything -- to be a resource of hope, help and healing."


The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of News Medical.
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