Friends and Family of Our Missing Angels,
In February we discovered that the Stillbirth page on the MOD website
referred to stillborn babies only as "fetuses". The National
Stillbirth Society protested and asked MOD to revise their website. They
changed one reference and left the rest, insisting their site was "medically
accurate", that the unborn are "fetuses". The even referred
to the born still as "fetuses".
We wrote to everyone at MOD, from the President on down. We set an April
1st deadline, after which we promised we would escalate the conflict.
Some cautioned NSS not to push too hard; we felt there was nothing to
lose. It's not as though they are spending money on stillbirth research
that they might discontinue. Nor do they consider stillbirth to be a birth
defect, and yet - isn't fetal death the ultimate birth defect? That needs
to be our next campaign; to get stillbirth recognized as a birth defect,
making it eligible for research funding.
Tonight we received a congratulatory e-mail from the Illinois State Coordinator
for NSS, praising us for the MOD victory! We jumped onto the March of
Dimes and here's what we found. A revised Stillbirth page without a single
reference to "fetus"!
Our babies have been recognized as babies. Our mother's sacrifices have
been validated. Their love has been acknowledged. What had been a truly
obscene web page is now a sensitive and compassionate page.
Because they have not been involved in stillbirth issues MOD was as ignorant
of the syndrome and the impact it has on parents as was I when Camille
died. I was just a few notches ahead of them on the learning curve. But
learn they did. Thank you to all who helped in this battle, and especially
to Jaye Zessar, grandmother of Zachary, who was invaluable in bringing
MOD to the point where they began to understand why we who have lost babies
regard references to them as fetuses to be so offensive.
STOP. Before you leave this paragraph click on the e-mail link to Ms.
Jennifer Howse, President of March of Dimes, and thank her for making
the change. Send your thank you to JHowse@marchofdimes.com.
A simple thank you will do. A personal experience to explain why the change
is important to you would be even better. But please, for our babies,
do not leave this page without sending her an e-mail. Because all the
Richard Olsen is a stillbirth father married to Sharon Arnold, mother
of Camille Rayana Olsen, stillborn on August 17, 2000 at full term. Their
memorial website is at www.camilleolsen.com.
Richard is the founder and Executive Director of both The National Stillbirth
Society and The Missing Angel Foundation. He lives and works in Phoenix
Arizona as a real estate developer. His e-mail address is email@example.com.
National Stillbirth Society
Post Office Box 10273, Phoenix, AZ 85064
Tel: 1-800-611-SADS www.stillnomore.org