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Circle of Support

Volunteers

This is a first of its kind, all volunteer effort. It is a true grass roots effort that is rooted in the hearts of the individuals who have chosen to become involved. Because this effort has no precedence, the depth of its success is untested. The SIDS Network, Inc. is proud and honored to test these uncharted waters. The opinions and comments offered by the individuals involved, are not necessarily those of the SIDS Network, Inc. The SIDS Network, Inc. has made many efforts to allow all sides of an issue available.

Connect with one of the volunteers who make up the core of the Circle of Support. Please remember that this is not meant to be a sole means of support, but rather a part of your support network. The individuals on this list may not be trained professionals. Their greatest assets include caring hearts and a willingness to help.

My name is Angela Blanton

bullet I can be reached through my e-mail address: blanton@micoks.net 
bullet I live in Kansas , USA
bullet I am the mother of Kayla Michelle Blanton her dates are 5-22-99 to 10-26-99
bullet Kayla has two surviving siblings and two subsequent siblings.
bullet My experience: I have had peer contact training at the Florida SIDS conference. I take back to sleep pamphlets to area hospitals, doctors, health departments, etc. I am a peer contact for the state of Kansas (& Missouri if needed).

My name is Kathy Boekenoogen

bullet I can be reached through my e-mail address:stelster2003@yahoo.com
bullet I live in Glendora, California, USA
bullet My son, Casey Charles Boekenoogen, was born December 12,1991 and died on March 20,1992 from SIDS.
bullet Casey has two surviving siblings and one subsequent sibling. Our subsequent daughter was born following the reversal of a vasectomy.
bullet My experience: I am active with the Southern California SIDS Foundation. This is a SIDS support group. I have had training with the State SIDS program for facilitating meetings and for peer contact. I am also a member of the Southern Calif. Regional SIDS Council. I have participated in first responder training with the State SIDS program on the parent panel twice this past year. I am a peer contact for the SIDS Foundation and for the State SIDS Program.

My name is Pam Borchardt

bullet I can be reached through my e-mail address: PBBorchardt@mediaone.net 
bullet I live in the suburbs of Chicago, IL, USA
bullet My daughter Becky died from SIDS while at the babysitter's house on October 30, 1991. She was born on June 25, 1991.
bullet Becky was our second daughter. My oldest daughter, Molly, was just 4 years old when Becky died. We now have Hannah who is just 16 mos. old (as of September 1997)
bullet Since Becky's death, I have been fairly actively involved with the SIDS Alliance in Illinois. I work regularly with Lori Bennett and Mary Tolan in the state Health Department. I assist with training Health Department Nurses in handling 2nd contact with newly bereaved SIDS parents. I also work with Nancy Mayuma in speaking at Univ. of Chicago Hospital and Cook county hospitals in training Emergency Room physicians on the correct treatment of SIDs parents in the Emergency Room. I will also be speaking at the National Convention for Emergency Room Physicians in San Francisco this October (1997). In addition to the speaking, I attend monthly meetings of our support group. I occasionally fill in for our paid facilitator when she is unable to make the group. I have also been a Peer Parent counselor for nearly 5 years. Each peer parent must attend a day long class complete with role playing situations. I have been a peer parent to approx. 12 - 15 new parents per year

My Name is Michelle Copen 3/3/93 to 4/24/03

bullet I can be reached through my e-mail address: missabelle7@yahoo.com
bullet I live in Norton, Ohio, USA
bullet My daughter Emily Pamela Johanyak was born March 3, 1993. She died from SIDS on April 24, 1993.
bullet I have a 19 month old son named Benjamin. I worry about him constantly!! But just love him to pieces.
bullet I would be wonderful as support to people seeing as I have been through it. I am very understanding and non judgmental. I have read the SIDS support handbook (from Ohio chapter) and understand it fully. I just want people to know that they are not alone.

My name is Kristy Dockstader

bullet I can be reached through my e-mail address: kristy@dynatron.com
bullet I live in Salt Lake City, Utah, USA
bullet My son Bryce Cameron died from SIDS September 6, 1995. He was born on May 23, 1995.
bullet Bryce has a younger sister, born October 16, 1996.
bullet I became a Parent Contact Coordinator for the state of Utah this year. I have attended 2 parent contact training courses, been to the 1997 Conference in Dallas, TX. Just being a SIDS parent and knowing that maybe I can help someone out there, means that my son's name will live on forever.

My name is Shirley Doughty

bullet I can be reached through my e-mail address: kaitlyn@cboss.com or shirley205@aol.com
bullet I live in Girard, Ohio, USA
bullet My daughter Kaitlyn Marie Doughty died from SIDS November 4, 1996. She was born on February 15, 1995.
bullet Kaitlyn Marie has four siblings.
bullet I served as the (volunteer) coordinator of the SIDS Network's 1998 BIDS to stop SIDS(sm) online celebrity auction. If I can help anyone else in any way, that's what I want to do.

My name is Michelle Fine

bullet I can be reached through my e-mail address: saintfine4@aol.com
bullet I live in Stamford, Connecticut, USA
bullet Our daughter Ripley was born 2/28/97 and died 5/9/97
at the age of 10 weeks. She was our first child.
bullet Ripley has two subsequent siblings.
bullet I was active in the Colorado SIDS Program support groups and fundraising activities before I moved from Colorado. I have not been involved in any support groups since then and feel that I have a great deal to offer families who have lost a baby to SIDS. Enough time has passed for me that I can say I feel somewhat "healed", but it was not so long ago that I don't have vivid memories of my own experience and grief. I am an excellent listener and firmly believe that each person has a right to grieve in their own unique way, even if it is completely different from mine.

My name is Debbie Gemmill

bullet I can be reached through my e-mail address: mom2127@aol.com
bullet I live in Escondido, California , USA
bullet My son, Tyler Dean Gemmill, died from SIDS on May 25, 1982. He was seven months old.
bullet Ty has one surviving sibling and one subsequent sibling.
bullet My experience: I am active with the Orange County (CA) Guild for Infant Survival. This is a SIDS support group which has been offering support to SIDS families since 1964. I am a past president of the Orange County Guild for Infant Survival, having also served in several other positions. I have had training with the CA SIDS Program for peer contact. I am a peer contact for the California State SIDS Program, and a member of the So. California Regional SIDS Council.

My name is J. Holy

bullet My email is worddancer0927@cs.com
bullet I live in Cincinnati, OH, USA
bullet I lost my daughter Ashley Marie on 7/09/92. She was almost a year old. Her birth date is 8/17/91.
bullet I have 2 other sons, Christopher 10 and Dougie 3.
bullet I'm volunteering because I would like to help other parents who have lost children, it is very healing to do so and I am able to offer my support any way I can. I've had some time to get some perspective and I think I listen well.

My name is Candace Herkins

bullet I can be reached through my email address: cjones@starstream.net  or cherkins@placer.ca.gov 
bullet I live in Rocklin, California (near Sacramento)
bullet My only son Zackary Shane Herkins arrived on December 11th, 1998 and departed on February 10th, 1999
bullet Zack has two surviving siblings: Jessica age 13 and Alyssa age 7
bullet As a recent SIDS parent, trained peer contact, degree in behavioral psychology and a degree in criminal justice, I work well with all aspects of the SIDS community. I am very active in support and fundraising for new SIDS families, as well as working on education regarding reducing the risks. In 2000 I, with the help of the SIDS Network, Inc., sponsored the first annual ZACKS WALK-KIDS AGAINST SIDS- the support was overwhelming. www.zacksplace.com 

My name is Cynthia Jefferson

bullet I can be reached through my e-mail address: Ceejeff@aol.com
bullet I live in Carson, California , USA
bullet My son, Lexis Donte Jefferson, was born on April 17,1996 and died from SIDS on July 6, 1996.
bullet Lexis has one surviving sibling and one subsequent sibling.
bullet My experience: I have found that by talking to others it helps me through my pain. When I talk about my son to other people, I usually end up comforting them. I am slated to attend SIDS Peer Contact Training, sponsored by the California SIDS Program in January 1998. I try to participate in any/all activities related to SIDS that I am aware of i.e. memorial services, walk-a- thons, writing to legislators. I have let the SIDS Foundation of Southern California know that I am available to volunteer for anything I can to help someone else. I know the pain - and if I can help anyone else in any way, that's what I want to do.

My name is Phillip Percy

bullet I can be reached through my e-mail address: phillip@southernisp.net
bullet I live in New South Wales , Australia
bullet I lost my daughter Sarah in September 1994 when she was four and a half months old.
bullet I have an eight year old daughter and have had two more babies since Sarah's death, Emily who is now two and Joshua who is almost four months.
bullet My experience: Since Sarah died, I have been involved in my local SIDS organisation, Sudden Infant Death Association of New South Wales, where I put out a newsletter for our local support group and then ended up running the group later on. I am a volunteer on the emergency phone line which is open 24 hours a day and takes notifications, enquiries and provides support to SIDS families after office hours.  I am in the process of developing a chat line for SIDS families.

My name is Dana Siegel

bullet I can be reached through my e-mail address: dana.siegel@zhora.com
bullet I live in Natick, Massachusetts, a suburb of Boston, USA
bullet My son, David, was born April 30, 1989 and died of SIDS on May 20, 1991.
bullet Our daughter, Aviva was born February 5, 1992 (nine months after David's death) and I'm currently in a very early pregnancy, due in March 1997
bullet My experience: I've had peer counselor training from the Boston SIDS support group, and do peer counseling for those people who have lost older children to SIDS. I try to attend various SIDS group events, and even occasionally attend the bimonthly support group meetings.

My name is Ellen Siska

bullet I can be reached through my e-mail address: esiska@CTC.Net
bullet I live in Concord, North Carolina, USA
bullet My son, Edward David Siska, was born on June 25, 1991, and died of SIDS on September 15, 1991.
bullet Edward has one surviving sibling and two subsequent siblings.
bullet My experience: I started the first local SIDS Support Group three months after Ed's death. In July, 1992, I began working for the PA SIDS Center as Peer Support Coordinator. In November, 1995, I was appointed to the position of Support Services Coordinator for South-central PA for the PA SIDS Alliance. I am a certified RTS Bereavement Counselor and am trained to teach Peer Contacting to others. I am a member of the Association of SIDS Program Professionals (ASPP) and of the York County Child Death and Injury Review Team.

My name is Joelle Stice

bullet I can be reached through my e-mail address: joest2002@aol.com
bullet I live in Upland, California, USA
bullet My Baby "Elyssa" died from SIDS on 2-16-03. I am her mother.  She was born on 1-3-03. She was 6 weeks old.
bullet I have had 1 baby since then. She is currently 11 weeks old.
bullet My experience: I would like to help others.  I have talked extensively with 2 doctors that specialize in SIDS and  currently have contact with them. I have attended research meetings on SIDS.
 

 
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