Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Stories of Giving from Brian and Joanna Perry

We would like to nominate Amanda Balderrama for the Stories of Giving. We met Amanda after our son was given a fatal diagnosis at 11 weeks gestation. We decided to carry our son, Colin Patrick Perry to term and found Amanda and Embrace the Journey. Amanda is the director of Embrace the Journey, a perinatal comfort care program. This program assists families who chose to carry their child to term after their child was given a fatal diagnosis. Embrace the Journey is a program of Walk to Remember, Inland Empire (which Amanda co-founded). It is a non-profit organization that helps families who have lost babies through miscarriage, still birth, and infant loss. Without Amanda our journey with Colin would have been sad and hopeless. Amanda was by our side the entire pregnancy and showed us how to enjoy our limited but precious time with our son. With Amanda’s guidance we were able to make precious memories with Colin, create a personal birth plan for him, take part in a research study through Duke University, connect with One Legacy to prepare for organ donation for our son, and so much more. She created keepsakes and special momentos for us to help remember our son, things we would have never known to do without her help. The amount of time she spent with us during our pregnancy is priceless. We don’t know where she finds the time to dedicate to these families? She is also a wife, a mother to two beautiful girls and a L&D nurse on top of organizing events for these organizations and assisting families every day. All of this is done out of love as she receives no monetary compensation for her time and hard work. We will never be able to adequately express how grateful we are for the work Amanda does. Colin passed away on Oct. 24, 2012. Amanda was there at the hospital for days with us assisting in memory making and relaying our wants and needs to the doctors and staff. We had not known Amanda before our pregnancy with Colin, but she made such a huge impact on our life and loved our son so much we felt we had to honor her in some way and asked her to be his Godmother. Of course she goes above and beyond in that role as well. On the first anniversary of Colin’s birth Amanda surprised us by having a tree planted and dedicated in his name at a park near our home. The helps she gives to families who are living through a nightmare no parent should ever know is truly priceless. She is selfless, thoughtful, and dedicated in ways unimaginable. Please choose her story of giving as it is truly one that changes lives for the better. With great gratitude, Brian and Joanna Perry

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