Editor’s Note: Throughout the holiday season, the News-Graphic will occasionally feature stories about people and organizations making a difference in Scott County. This is the third in a series.
The Finley 5K is more than just a run for the Dwayne Ellison family and others who have lost a child to Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) or other sleep-related cases.
The goal of the Charlie’s Kids Foundation, started by Sam and Maura Hanke, is “to advocate for safe sleep to prevent infant death,” we read on charlieskids.org.
Together, the Finley Foundation for SIDS and Charlie’s Kids are working to distribute books on safe sleep in the community.
“When (the participants) come to the race, they not only support the race, but they support all the other things that we do,” said Ellison. “One of them being ‘Safe Sleep’. ”
Finley William Ellison was born January 29, 2013 and died May 14, 2013. Finley lived 105 days.
“The call. I don’t have time, but around 2pm I got a call walking from the school cafe to my office,” Ellison wrote on the Finley105.org website. ‘was strange from my babysitter, she could handle my kids better than me and had Riley and Charlie going.
“On the phone, another voice told me I had to come home for Finley. I asked, ‘what’s wrong?’ (The other voice replied 🙂 ‘He’s not breathing.’ “
The Finley Foundation for SIDS was established by Ellison and his wife, Crissy, to raise awareness and fundraise for research aimed at ending SIDS.
“We’re trying to make people realize that, yes, safe sleep is an issue and children die – not intentionally by parents, not knowing that they shouldn’t put their child in this type of situation when they do. put him to bed, ”Ellison mentioned.
In April 2010, the Hankes lost their son, Charlie, after Sam fell asleep on the sofa with Charlie on his chest.
“Amid their grief, Sam and Maura realized that if this tragedy could happen to them, it could happen to anyone,” charlieskids.org said.
On April 6, Charlie’s first birthday, the Hankes launched the Charlie’s Kids Foundation.
“They jumped with a book – a safe sleep book is their big thing,” Ellison said. “And they’re trying to get him out.”
The Ellisons have distributed approximately 1,000 books on Safe Sleep each year since their partnership with Charlie’s Kids. And the books are free, he says.
The book can be found in pediatrician’s offices or at the health department.
A safe sleep book is a “huge tool for parents,” Dwayne said.
What might a “safe sleep” environment look like?
According to niche.nih.gov, the infant sleeping area shouldn’t have toys, pillows, blankets, or bumpers and should be in the bedroom with parents.
Other organizations also advocate safe sleep.
“In 1994, doctors started asking new mothers to put their babies on their backs to sleep,” cribsforkids.org read. “This ‘Back to Sleep’ campaign resulted in a 50% drop in sudden infant mortality rates in the United States, but sleep-related deaths remained the leading cause of infant death after the first month of age. ”
In 1998, Judy Bannon started Cribs for Kids, providing cribs for those who may not be able to afford them and educating mothers, according to the site.
Cribs for Kids provided nearly 800,000 cribs.