I have learned way more from these families than I could ever hope to teach them. The perseverance that people who have had to bury a child have is undeniable.
Billings, Montana (PRWEB) April 20, 2015
"It's so hard to put into words what Ramsey's foundation has done for our family. Initially, I really thought I would just be paying for funerals and that's where it would end. But what I've discovered is this need that other baby loss families have, including myself, to be together, support each other and walk through this journey together," says Ramsey Keller Memorial Founder Kori Keller. "I have learned way more from these families than I could ever hope to teach them. The perseverance that people who have had to bury a child have is undeniable. And on my darkest days, I read through letters and look through the receipts of the families we've helped and know that I too must forge on. I am not able to put into words my love for baby loss families, it's just too great."
Many of the families the Ramsey Keller Memorial has helped are "running for heaven's sake" this May to raise money for other baby loss families and to honor their children who have passed away. Stacey Oven of Billings lost her baby boy, Cale, at home while she held him. Now she is running to honor Cale's life and to help other Montana families. Her team name is "Cruising for Cale" and her 2 year-old son Trevor will walk for his brother. No known cause was ever found for Cale's death and it has been ruled SIDS. Cale was a preemie and in the NICU for just over six weeks, but released and deemed healthy in early January, 2015.
"January 3rd I got the call that he would be able to come home the next day, so I stayed at the hospital that night to make sure he was ok," says Stacy Oven. "I was a little nervous to bring him home. He came home on January 4th. He continued to do really good while he was home, growing, happy and always pooping! January 17th he met his grandparents from Florida. January 20th I went back to work and he got to stay one day with his grandparents, and then in the early morning of January 21st he passed away in my arms."
It is heartbreak like this, as well as their own story, that keeps Kori and Jeff Keller moving forward to help other families in Montana. Kori and her husband Jeff lost their daughter Ramsey in 2011 after complications with fluid retention in her body. Ramsey Keller lived for only two days, but her life continues to touch so many. Kori and Jeff started the Ramsey Keller Memorial soon after Ramsey passed away and are now gearing up for the 3rd annual Run for Heaven's Sake May 17th, 2015 in Billings at Rimrock West Park, one of two main fundraisers each year for the memorial. Last year, there were 880+ runners and walkers "running for heaven's sake." This year the goal is 1000 runners/walkers. The run features a 5k, 10k and a half marathon. Entry fees range from $15.00 to $50.00 and runners can register on the memorial's website page: http://www.kisses2heaven.com/.
So far in 2015, the foundation has paid out $35,214 in infant funeral expenses and Kori estimates the total requested funding will be be at $110,000 this year, which is beyond what the foundation has raised in past years through its two main fundraisers. "We really hope to see all of Montana out for our run this year helping hurting families in Montana," says Keller. "We've paid for infant funerals from Billings to Kalispell, Sydney, Culbertson and many places in between, and we could use all of the support we can get." If people are unable to attend the actual race, there are other donation options on the foundation's website.
To book an interview with Kori Keller and/or Stacy Oven, please contact Kori Keller at the above contact information.