About Butterfly Run Vancouver
WHY THE BUTTERFLY RUN?
In today’s society, pregnancy and infant loss is still a taboo subject. It is often not discussed, brushed aside, and dismissed. Pregnancy is supposed to be a time of excitement and anticipation of the future. Unfortunately, pregnancy and infant loss (also known as perinatal loss) affects 1 in 4 women and their partners and families. Perinatal loss is defined as the death of an infant during pregnancy or soon thereafter. These losses are devastating and it can be hard for others to understand the magnitude of grief that accompanies these losses. In addition, it can be extremely difficult for people to even become pregnant. Infertility affects 1 in 6 Canadians.
Butterfly Run Vancouver is the 1st charity run of its kind in Greater Vancouver. It is a 5km/2km Run/Walk in Vancouver to support families who experience a loss during pregnancy, the loss of a child, or infertility, by:
*Increasing community awareness and encouraging dialogue to support individuals and families experiencing loss during pregnancy, the loss of a child, pregnancy after loss, and those who are unable to conceive;
*Providing support and the opportunity to create connections and community; and
*Providing funds for BC Women's, and other organizations in our community.
Thank you for standing with parents and families who have to face the devastating reality of losing a pregnancy or an infant, or who struggle with infertility. Together we are ensuring that our community has the support necessary to ensure parents and families have the care they desperately need.
Being a bereaved parent is a path that no one should walk alone. Butterfly Run Vancouver is a celebration of life, no matter how long or short.
After the loss of her son Wilder in 2017, Kimberly Lockhart searched for a sense of community. She began looking into what Vancouver had to offer in terms of a memorial walk or run, and discovered that Vancouver did not have any such event in place. Kimberly knew there was a need to raise awareness for infant and perinatal loss. She desired to bring families together to connect and support one another.
Kimberly reached out to BC Women’s and began searching for similar memorial walks across Canada. She contacted Emily Cordonier with Butterfly Run Ottawa for advice and support. Butterfly Run Ottawa agreed to provide the advice and support that Kimberly needed to get the event planning started. Many thanks to organizers of The Butterfly Run Ottawa/Gatineau for their ongoing guidance and support!
Soon after the planning began, Kimberly shared the idea with friends who unfortunately had also experienced the pain of pregnancy or infant loss. From there, a group of volunteers formed to coordinate the first Butterfly Run Vancouver. Together with the support of Butterfly Run Ottawa and a local committee of dedicated individuals, the 1st annual Butterfly Run Vancouver has emerged.
The 1st Annual Butterfly Run Vancouver is being held on Saturday October 5th, 2019 along South False Creek Seawall.
Butterfly Run Vancouver hopes to increase community awareness of pregnancy and perinatal loss, provide an opportunity to create connections and community, and provide funds for BC Women's hospital.
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What is the meaning behind our butterfly symbol and logo?
The butterfly is a symbol of transformation, of the spirit and the soul, and of the unending cycle of life and death. For many of us, butterflies are a symbol of the children we have lost. The metamorphosis of the butterfly is a powerful symbol in so many ways for those who are grieving. They are the beautiful tiny spark of life that came to us, lighted our lives for just a moment before fluttering away. They are the hope that the transformation that loss brings into our lives can result in something different, something beautiful. We may not be the same through this journey, but we have grown, and we are able to see things that we could not before. The logo was inspired by the footprints of Aaron Samulack, who spent 100 precious minutes with his family after birth. At maternity wards in many hospitals, when a family experiences the loss of a baby a purple butterfly is taped to the door to let staff entering the room know. The colours of the logo were chosen with this in mind and also represent the complexity of the emotions of loss. Thank you for Amberlea Williams of Hereness and Thereness for the lovely logo.
MEET THE COMMITTEE
Kimberly is a mother of five. Her third child Wilder was unexpectedly stillborn at 40w5d in September 2017. The loss of Wilder has made a lasting impact on Kimberly and her family. Kimberly hopes to keep Wilder's memory alive by raising awareness about pregnancy and infant loss, as well as supporting other families facing infant loss.
Laura was expecting her third child in 2017 when she learned that her son, James, had died in utero at 19 weeks due to unexplained causes. James was intensely loved by Laura and her family and is deeply missed and remembered. James was followed by Estelle in early 2018 (died at 7 weeks in utero) and Nova in late 2018 (died at 11 weeks in utero due to Trisomy 21). Laura’s heart and life have been profoundly impacted by these precious little people. She is joining Butterfly Run Vancouver in memory of James, Estelle, and Nova and to offer support to people experiencing pregnancy loss.
After the birth of her first child, Anya experienced the loss of three pregnancies over a period of two years. Her first two losses occurred in the first trimester, and her third loss was discovered at an ultrasound in the second trimester. Each loss had a profound impact on Anya and her family. Shortly after her third loss, Anya became pregnant with twins. At present, Anya lives with her husband, three children, and the memory of those lost. Anya wishes to honor their memory by building awareness, support and resources, for families who are grieving a loss.
Becky Lewis is the mother to 3 beautiful children. After many years of infertility, and with the help of fertility treatments, Becky and her husband welcomed their first daughter in 2016. In October of 2018, their son Bowen unexpectedly passed away due to a cord accident at 37 weeks. In February 2020, again with the help of fertility treatments, Becky’s family welcomed their second daughter. The loss of Bowen has created a strong desire for Becky to remember her son by sharing their story and empowering other families to talk about their struggles and losses. The Butterfly Run Vancouver is an amazing organization that has given Becky and her family the gift of community through an unimaginable loss. Becky hopes that because of the Butterfly Run Vancouver, other families will find support and know that they are not alone.
After struggling with years of infertility Leah and her husband Russ were blessed with a beautiful son Colin in 2010. He passed shortly after his birth due to a traumatic birth injury. After the loss of her son they suffered 3 devastating miscarriages. She has since been blessed with two beautiful little girls. Leah has been an advocate for infertility, pregnancy, and infant loss since the death of her son. Her hope is the Butterfly Run will raise awareness for families suffering this type of loss, build a community of support for families, and raise much need funds for education and support.
Maria and her husband struggled with infertility and pregnancy loss for almost 4 years. Their first loss was an ectopic pregnancy in 2016 followed by a year and a half of infertility. At the end of 2017 they decided to move forward with IVF. However, unfortunately this was only the beginning of another very difficult year and a half. They had two more losses in 2018 and a second round of IVF that failed them in 2019. They finally conceived and welcomed their beautiful rainbow baby in December of 2019. Maria has joined the Butterfly Run to honor their lost babies and help raise awareness around infertility and pregnancy loss. She has been very open and vulnerable with her experience in hopes of inspiring and empowering other women and couples, giving them strength to get through a seemingly impossible time in their lives.
Sarah Kiomi Lutz
Event Director / Treasurer
Sarah and her husband Raelan were joyfully expecting identical twin girls when they received a devastating diagnosis of a genetic abnormality in April 2018. Sadly, Amaryllis and Lily died at 24 weeks gestation. This loss has profoundly affected Sarah and her family. Sarah is involved with the Butterfly Run in memory of her beautiful daughters, and hopes that it can create awareness, provide support and end the stigma around late term pregnancy loss.
Graphics and Website
Shola lost her son Spencer shortly after birth due to a virus in 2016. Since then, she has put herself out there for others who have suffered the devastating loss of an infant. Her hope is that this Memorial walk/run will help other families with the support that is needed so that they can have hope for the future.