Clark Co. woman turns family tragedy into mission to help others

Local News

EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (WLAX/WEUX) – A Clark County woman is turning a family tragedy into a mission to help parents who have suffered a miscarriage or the loss of an infant.

First News at Nine’s Max Cotton shares how she’s using her grief to help others.

A Clark County woman is working to help parents affected by a miscarriage or loss of an infant after losing her son.

In 2019, Sierra Strangfeld lost her son Samuel to Trisomy 18. It’s a genetic condition caused by a baby having a third copy of the chromosome 18. Many babies to be stillborn or die shortly after birth.

Samuel Strangfeld lived for three hours. He spent his entire life in his parents arm.

“We lost out on the first of everything. We never got to introduce his sister to him,” Sierra Strangfeld said.

Grief-stricken, Sierra Stangfeld desired a way to channel her emotions while also continuing to honor her son. She decided to create a nonprofit, “Smiling for Samuel.”

“Our mission is to help comfort families who experience pregnancy or infant loss and also bring awareness to trisomy 18, tell people more about what it is, be there for families who experience it themselves,” she said.

The nonprofit helps families in several ways including making memory kits for their lost child.

While Sierra Strangfeld said it’s not always easy working in a manner that constantly reminds her of the worst day of her life, it’s helped her heal.

“A lot of women don’t reach out because it’s hard and I also feel like it’s society has told us this is something we don’t talk about,” she said. “It makes people sad. It makes people uncomfortable. I want people to know it’s ok to talk about these things. I don’t think I would have ever been able to deal with my grief without this kind of platform.”

The organization is hosting a 3k/5k run/walk in Neillsville on Oct. 9 to raise awareness and money.

Strangfeld said it costs $20 to pre-register or $25 to register at the event.

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