Select Page

Making a Difference: Delaware Chapter of The TEARS Foundation

August 25, 2020 – Making a Difference – Stacey Smith – Ashlynn Guptill – Michelle Pennington

At RADfertility, we understand that infertility can be a very isolating disease to face. It is important to know you are not alone. The purpose of the Making a Difference series is to highlight the dedicated organizations and individuals in the community available to help you on your journey.

Stacey Smith
Delaware Chapter Leader
Serving in Honor of AJ 

Ashlynn Guptill
Committee Member
Serving in Honor of Grace 

Michelle Pennington
Committee Member
Serving in Honor of Charlotte, Adelynn, Juliette, & Ava

Our patient community is filled with extraordinary people doing extraordinary things. Members of a local pregnancy loss support group joined together with the mission of helping others going through similar tragedies while also honoring the life of their child. A non-profit organization was born, the Delaware Chapter of The TEARS Foundation.

We had the opportunity to connect with the organization’s Committee to learn more about their mission, the Delaware Rock & Walk for Babies event, and how they are making a difference.

The 2020 Delaware Rock & Walk will take place on Sunday, October 25th and has gone virtual this year!

What is the mission of The TEARS Foundation?

The TEARS Foundation seeks to compassionately lift a financial burden from families who have lost a baby by providing funds to assist with the cost of burial or cremation services. We believe that every baby’s life deserves to be honored and memorialized in accordance with the grieving parents’ wishes and are committed to helping bereaved parents with this experience.

 

When was the Delaware Chapter founded and what inspired the Committee to bring this resource to the First State?

After experiencing the loss of our babies and meeting in a bereavement support group, several Delaware parents decided we wanted to turn our heartache into healing. We all had different experiences in our losses, but what drew us to one another was not only our desire to honor the lives of our babies, but also to show others who might suffer the same loss in the future the same kindness we had been shown by charitable donations received from the community. This mission of “paying it forward” and helping other families with the financial burden that no parent ever expects to encounter planted the seed for what soon would become something greater than us. On a leap of faith and by divine intervention, our group of parents were led to The TEARS Foundation who shares the same mission and vision we had hoped to fulfill. The TEARS Foundation has been a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization for 15 years in many states across the country, and has even begun to serve other countries as well, but has never had a chapter in Delaware. This was the opportunity we had dreamed of and seamlessly, just a few months later in November of 2017, the Delaware Chapter of The TEARS Foundation was founded.

 

What are some of the resources that the Foundation provides?

The TEARS Foundation seeks to provide families with funeral financial assistance, emotional support gatherings, memory boxes, peer companions, gifts of encouragement and support, and compassionate advocacy for the community of bereaved families; a community that is all too often silently unnoticed.

 

The TEARS Foundation frequently uses the symbol of the butterfly, is there a meaning behind this?

In the words of our founder, Sarah Slack, “For TEARS, the butterfly is a symbol of hope. It’s a transformation, and the beauty that can come through something so painful as child loss. There’s a time of darkness, and a time when things don’t look good at all. Such as when the transformation is occurring with a caterpillar into a butterfly. Ultimately with healing and a safe place to mourn, we transform into a new beautiful version of ourselves. Never the same, but with new hope and beauty.”

You had an amazing turnout for the first and second Annual Delaware Rock & Walk! The third annual event is set for October 25th and will be virtual with a swag bag pick-up at Caravel Academy. Can you tell us more about this year’s event?

We are very excited about this year’s Rock & Walk! Although it will be virtual for the health and safety of our participants, it will be extra special this year having it in October as this is Pregnancy & Infant Loss Awareness Month. We look forward to honoring and celebrating all of the babies gone too soon with our amazing community of bereaved families and the people who love them. The past two years it has been so beautiful to see the community come together in support of one another, and it is such an honor to be a part of it. On this day, we will line the track at Caravel Academy with butterflies with the babies’ names and host a virtual ceremony in which we will read all of their names. In order to follow social distancing, teams will be invited to walk the track for the Hope lap during an assigned time slot. They will be able to have a picture taken by our photographer with their baby’s(ies’) butterfly if they would like, and take their butterfly home with them if they so choose. There will be a feeling of camaraderie and expressions of hope.

The skies cleared and the sun was shining bright for an uplifting afternoon in 2019 supporting the Delaware Chapter of The TEARS Foundation!

What do you hope to accomplish in 2020 with The TEARS Foundation?

Although 2020 has been a bit of a different year for everyone, our mission remains the same. We want the community to know that there is compassionate support available for families who have experienced pregnancy and infant loss, and we are here for them during their grief journey. This experience can often feel very isolating, and in the current times even more so. The support that we are able to offer may look a little different in presentation during this time, but we hope to still be a supportive presence to the community of bereaved families in Delaware and surrounding areas.

 

What advice do you have for families that are grieving?

Grief is the most unpredictable force you will ever unwillingly come into contact with. It can tear you down, but it can also ignite a desire within you to make a difference in the world, or even give you a new perspective. Trust the process and know that while there is no reaching the “finish line” in this process, you will grow stronger over time. Allow grief to come as it may, in all of it’s many unrecognizable forms. Acknowledge it. Label it if you can. And always, always remember you are not alone. Through all of the many ups and downs that you will encounter, never forget to speak your baby’s(ies’) name(s), honor their precious life by telling their story, and carry the gift of their memory with you always.

Is there anything we didn’t mention that you feel is important for others to know about your organization?
We are a growing organization, so we humbly welcome anyone who would like to be a part of our team! If you are interested in becoming a volunTEAR, please email us at delawarechapter@thetearsfoundation.org or find us on Facebook by searching “Delaware Chapter of The TEARS Foundation” and send us a message. We are so grateful for the outpouring of kindness we have already experienced in such a short time and are honored to be able to serve the community in the great state of Delaware.

For more information, visit The Delaware Chapter of The TEARS Foundation website: http://thetearsfoundation.org/delaware/

A beautiful display from the Delaware Chapter of The TEARS Foundation! These hearts represent the babies we look forward to celebrating when we join them on Sunday, October 25th for the 3rd annual event.

More Patient Experience Resources

Patient Care Team

Meet RADfertility’s exceptional staff that goes above and beyond on many levels of patient care.

Top Fertility Doctors

Our five leading Delaware fertility doctors are board certified experts in their field who follow the golden rule of fertility care.

Leading Clinicians

Meet RADfertility's clinical team made up of compassionate and caring women who will be by your side every step of your journey to parenthood.

Read Our Blog

Inspiring community members that are making a difference to the latest news put in perspective for our patients.

Patient Stories

RADfertility's Seeds of Success program is founded on inspiring stories from men and women who found success at RADfertility.

Celebrating 25 Years 

In August 1995, Dr. Barbara McGuirk founded Reproductive Associates, now RADfertility, and was soon joined by her partner, Dr. Ron Feinberg. See how we are celebrating this special milestone!

Reviews

Read our latest reviews written by RADfertility patients.

Peggy Sue O.

★★★★★

"I feel so lucky to have found RADfertility. I tried two other clinics before I expanded my search and found RADfertility. I drive an hour each way to go to them but I don’t regret a thing. They are so caring and so professional. Every time I message them they respond quickly. Every time I see them they have a friendly smile and warm welcome. They explain everything so well and I never feel lost in the process as I did elsewhere. They also took the time to figure out what was wrong. Other clinics threw up their hands, said 'I don’t know' and pushed me to try IVF."

TJ P.

★★★★★

"Dr. Feinberg and the entire staff at RADfertility are absolutely amazing. The receptionists, coordinators, nurses, and lab staff are compassionate, caring, and straight forward. I’ve had a 12-year infertility journey and I’ve tried other clinics but RADfertility was the only one I felt at ease with. They answered any questions that I had and were there any time I needed them. My coordinator, Amy, was the absolute best and always had my back. Dr. Feinberg’s dedication to his patients is incredible. You are not just a number there, you are a person with individualized needs and care."

Anupama P.

★★★★★

"The RADfertility team gives you so much emotional support and positivity that it adds to your strength and keeps you focused on the end goal - a healthy and happy baby."

Samantha G.

★★★★★

"My journey with RADfertility and Dr. McGuirk started when my husband and I were trying to conceive and were having difficulty. We went to RADfertility, where we met Dr. McGuirk. I always say she changed my life and 'fixed' me. Dr. McGuirk is always learning more about endometriosis and how to help her patients. She’s brilliant and truly cares for you! I’m eternally grateful to her and everyone at RADfertility for their unwavering support, love, and care."

Annette D.

★★★★★

"Every step of our journey was tailored to us. We were treated so respectfully. Every detail was clearly explained and we felt so comfortable. Rhonda Wright was a Godsend and inspiring. I highly recommend this place! I cried when my weekly appointments were done and I 'graduated.'"

Amy W.

★★★★★

"The day I met Dr. Neithardt I knew she was the perfect doctor for me. Dr. Neithardt was so compassionate every step of the way. She held my hand, she hugged away tears, and continued to give me hope. There are not enough 'thank you's' in the world for Dr. Neithardt and the whole RADfertility team who will forever have a special place in my heart."

Shannon M.

★★★★★

"RADfertility's staff has heart and provided me with exceptional health care. I knew I was in good hands and felt like we were in this together. The doctors and nursing staff always answered all of my questions and provided thorough information about all of my options. I am so fortunate and appreciative of the care that I received at RADfertility. They go above and beyond."

Megan L.

★★★★★

"I cannot begin to explain how wonderful RADfertility is. We were frustrated with trying to start a family and it not working for us. The entire team of doctors and nurses made us feel comfortable and hopeful that we would be parents. We experienced so many ups and downs but we never felt like we were on our IVF journey alone, we had our RADfertility team every step of the way. If you're looking for a supportive team on the IVF journey, look no further. RADfertility is the absolute best."

Anonymous on FertilityIQ

★★★★★

"Dr. Schillings always kept us informed and never gave up on us. She always explained our options and risks with each procedure. She called us personally when there were any issues or sensitive subjects to cover. Dr. Schillings was the first doctor that had answers for us and wanted to help us have our miracle baby!"

Anonymous on Vitals

★★★★★

"Dr. Mitchell is the best physician I have ever had. She is incredibly caring and spends as much time as I need to have all of my questions answered. She goes above and beyond to make me feel comfortable and informed."

Newark Office

4735 Ogletown-Stanton Road
Medical Arts Pavilion 2
Suite 3217
Newark, DE 19713

Wilmington Office

Silverside Medical Center
2700 Silverside Road, Suite 2A
Wilmington, DE 19810

Dover Office

Eden Hill Medical Center
200 Banning Street, Suite 240
Dover, DE 19904

 

Phone: (302) 602-8822

Fax: (302) 602-8832

©RADfertility 2020