Whitby receives 2022 Ambassador Family Award

2022 Ambassador Family Award: Eileen Whitby

Eileen Whitby was honored with the “Ambassador Family” award at Kennedy’s Angel Gowns’ Angel Ball on May 14, 2022, at the Nauticus in Norfolk, Virginia. The award recognizes those who have contributed significantly to supporting bereaved families. This often includes raising awareness about pregnancy and infant loss, including infertility, miscarriage, early neonatal loss, stillbirth, and infant loss.

Eileen Whitby accepting the award of Angel on Earth at The Angel Ball surrounded by her friends and family.
Eileen Whitby (left, red dress), Heather Wilson, Executive Director (right, holding microphone)

The Whitby’s journey to parenthood and their loss

Eileen’s story is a powerful testimony of heartbreak and resilience. She and her husband, Dennis, faced infertility challenges. Still, their dream of starting a family finally came true on July 5, 2021, with the birth of their daughter Olivia Hope Ibanez Whitby, thanks to medication and IVF. Unfortunately, their joy was short-lived when Olivia passed away; she was found unresponsive just 23 days after her birth. Tragically, Eileen also lost her husband in a motorcycle accident seven months later.

The Whitby family together (Eileen, Olivia Hope, Dennis)
Eileen, Olivia Hope (7/5/2021—7/28/2021) , Dennis (9/29/1980—2/12/2022)

Eileen’s connection to Kennedy’s Angel Gowns

However, Eileen found solace and purpose after her loss through Kennedy’s Angel Gowns and their dedication to supporting bereaved families. She channeled her energy into raising awareness and funds for the organization, inspiring many others to make a difference. Thanks to her efforts, over $10K has been donated in memory of Olivia Hope.

Eileen’s unwavering commitment to supporting other families in their grief is genuinely inspiring. The “Ambassador Family” award recognizes her strength and resilience. Kennedy’s Angel Gowns is proud to honor her for her contributions.

“The loss of my daughter and husband was a devastating time for me,” Eileen said. “But Kennedy’s Angel Gowns gave me a sense of purpose and allowed me to turn my grief into something positive.”

Whitby receives 2022 Ambassador Family Award 5 - Kennedys Angel Gowns

The power of love and support in tragedy

Eileen’s journey highlights the importance of support in times of loss. She expresses gratitude for the continued love and support from Kennedy’s Angel Gowns that was in “ways more meaningful than the award itself.”

Eileen was grateful to have a supportive family and friends who helped her through her loss, and she now wants to extend that support to others. “I think my openness about my tragedy opened up the conversation,” Eileen stated. “The many losses that men and women have been unable to speak about freely.” Eileen is passionate about breaking the silence surrounding pregnancy and infant loss and helping bereaved parents find comfort and healing as she did.

“Grief is a lonely journey no matter how many people you may have in your life,” Eileen says. Many people do not know what to do when pregnancy and infant loss happen, how to provide a proper burial for their baby, or where to go when grief overcomes them. Eileen believes that Kennedy’s Angel Gowns gives a starting point for people to put one foot in front of the other.

Registering for the 5K Angel Run and The Angel Ball were vital connections for Eileen to keep going and feel supported. “You don’t have to do much or say anything; just show up. These events are a great way to do just that,” Eileen shared.

Eileen’s plans for the future and ongoing support for bereaved families

“Our biggest fear is that our angel babies will be forgotten,” Eileen shared. Raising awareness about pregnancy and infant loss allows bereaved parents to keep their memories alive. Eileen encourages others to find their starting point to start their healing journey. She would like to continue working with the organization and promote monthly meetings where people can talk together and share their memories of their angel babies.

Eileen is also in the process of writing a book about her family’s loss and her own journey toward healing. This book will offer a relatable inside look at the experiences of grief and loss. She has also contributed an excerpt to “Even If” by Shauna Dukes, a book about grief.

Friends surrounding Eileen Whibty at 2022 The Angel Ball hosted by Kennedy's Angel Gowns
Eileen Whitby (red dress) and her tribe of supportive friends at the 2022 Angel Ball

Making a Difference for Bereaved Families

The Whitby family’s story is a reminder of the power of love and support in times of tragedy. The “Angel on Earth” award recognizes Eileen’s journey of hope and healing along with Kennedy’s Angel Gowns’ commitment to supporting bereaved families that inspires us all.

Join us in making a difference for bereaved families and supporting the mission of Kennedy’s Angel Gowns. Your donation will help us comfort and support families who have experienced the loss of a child. Make a difference today and help us carry on the legacy of the Whitby family.

Join the Movement to Break the Silence at The Angel Ball

You’re invited to honor and remember the precious lives lost too soon and support families in their grief journey at The Angel Ball. You can make a difference and support Kennedy’s Angel Gowns in our mission to raise awareness and comfort families affected by pregnancy and infant loss.

Will you help us break the silence surrounding infertility, miscarriage, early neonatal loss, stillbirth, and infant loss? Attend the event to support giving a voice to those who have felt compelled to stay silent about their loss. Your support will make a tangible impact on the lives of bereaved families and ensure that their precious angels are never forgotten.

Buy your ticket for this unforgettable night of inspiration, community, and hope. Be a part of the movement to break the silence and make a difference for families affected by pregnancy and infant loss.

 

#pregnancyinfantlossawareness #miscarriage #stillbirth #neonatalloss #infertility #1in4 #1in8 #angelbaby #rainbowbaby

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