March 18, 2019 was a special day for Rebecca and her family. On that day, she received a phone call and she knew it was a sign from God.
Rebecca and Heath experienced the loss of their beautiful baby girl, Eleanor Jane, on June 2, 2018 when she was born with a chromosome condition called Trisomy 18 or Edwards syndrome. When it came time to decide how Rebecca and Heath wanted to honor Eleanor, they couldn’t think of a better cause than an Iowa nonprofit, Loving Tanner and its goal of getting a CuddleCot in every hospital in Iowa. A CuddleCot allows families, who have experienced a stillbirth or infant loss, the gift of time by allowing more time with their baby to grieve.
The CuddleCot is a special basinet that acts as a cooling device which helps to slow the natural changes in the body after death. They cost about $3,000.
“To me, it didn’t matter the cost. As a mother of loss, if it can help one family, it’s worth it,” said Rebecca.
Originally, when Rebecca approached her local hospital about the idea, they declined the request. Rebecca continued to pray and seek God’s direction for how they would memorialize Eleanor. She talked to her parish priest and he gave her a few suggestions. She received some ideas from the hospital, but nothing seemed right.
Seven months later on March 18, Rebecca, Heath and their children were decked out in light blue t-shirts as they honored Eleanor on Trisomy 18 Awareness Day. The month of March is dedicated to Trisomy Awareness with the 18th dedicated specifically to Trisomy 18. It was on that day in 2019, that Rebecca got a call from the hospital foundation asking for their partnership with Loving Tanner to purchase a CuddleCot.
“I cried,” said Rebecca. “I knew it was a sign from above. I’m so glad I never gave up on my dream to honor Eleanor.”
Rebecca said the money was raised through Eleanor’s memorial funds and the generosity of many individuals and organizations. One week before Eleanor’s first birthday, Rebecca received a wonderful gift - the CuddleCot was completely funded. God provided such timing.
“Helping other families in her name; I couldn’t think of a better way to honor Eleanor.”
1. Rebecca ran into an obstacle when she first acted on her idea for how to memorialize her daughter. She sought God’s guidance but never felt Him pulling her in a different direction. She persevered. It didn’t come into fruition until 7 months later. Have there been times you have had to persevere in faithfulness? How did you see God working during those times of perseverance?
2. Have you ever been surprised by God’s timing? How did you react?