Tens of thousands of families across the United States are devastated each year by untimely infant deaths. In 1988, US President Ronald Reagan declared October as Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness month to recognize the unique grief of bereaved parents in an effort to demonstrate support to the many families who have suffered such a tragic loss.
From the outside, Kristen and Scott Payton, along with daughters Dawson and Baylor, are a beautiful family of four. However, they are one of the many families who know all too well the heartache of pregnancy loss. In November 2010, after a healthy, full-term pregnancy, their first daughter Berkley was still-born. Devastated, they wanted to become involved and create awareness, as well as comfort others who were experiencing similar loss. In the spring of 2011 they became active in the March of Dimes, but always wanted to help local families.
In 2015, in honor of Berkley’s fifth birthday, her grandfather Gene Skiba established the Berkley Kay Payton Fund of the OCF.
“Establishing a fund in memory of a loved one is a way to keep their legacy alive forever, and we wish we had known about the foundation nine years ago when Berkley passed,” stated Kristen.
As the fund grows, the Payton’s hope to assist in fertility and prenatal care, research for healthy pregnancies, and grief support for bereaved parents.
“Every storm is followed by a rainbow, and our daughters, Dawson and Baylor, are proof of that. It is our hope that the Berkley Kay Payton Fund can provide many rainbows for families and organizations in need for years and years to come.”