HOLLAND, Mich. — October is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month, and a local non-profit has found a special way to support grieving families this month and all year round.
Chris and Julie Reushel started Faith45, after experiencing a tragedy of their own.
"Almost 4 years ago now, we found out we were pregnant with our first, Faith," Julie told FOX 17 News. "At 20 weeks is when we found out she was very sick. We did some testing and found out she had Trisomy 13, and words like incompatible with life' became a part of our vocabulary."
Doctors told the couple to prepare for a loss, but Julie said "God had other plans".
Faith was born and lived for 45 minutes before passing away.
"It was a miracle that she made it to 37 weeks, it's a miracle that she lived for 45 minutes," she said. "That's where we got the name. Faith obviously was our daughter's name, and she lived for 45 minutes so Faith45."
The organization aims to spark conversation about loss, while helping families heal.
"The statistic is 1 in 4 women will experience miscarriage, stillbirth or infant loss, which is a staggering number," said Chris. "It's hard on Dads too."
Faith45 provides one-on-one mentoring, along with "Faith boxes", curated with special books, candles and resources to support grieving parents.
"It's just kind of a collection of resources that kind of helped both of us through this process, and it's just a way we can show support to other women and families," explained Chris. "A Faith box is a way to extend love and support, without knowing the words to say."
The Reushels have since welcomed a son in 2018, and a baby girl this Fall. They continue to lean on their faith, knowing that while their first born daughter is gone, she will never be forgotten.
"[Faith is] impacting families and moms and dads and children, literally across the nation," said Chris. "She's figured out what to do with the time that was given to her and she's making a big impact."
He continued, "Our hearts go out to these families...It's a double edged sword, we want to be able to help, but we wish we didn't have too... our hearts and our tears and our prayers are in every single one of these boxes that goes out. We pour everything that we can into it. And every single box and family is prayed over."
To learn more about Faith45, or to donate to the organization, click here.