In the fall of 1977, due to the insistent urging of one bereaved young family at St. John's Hospital in Springfield, Illinois, Sister Jane Marie Lamb, OSF began Share. Within four months, the first support group met and Share grew greatly under Sr. Jane's leadership and endless dedication. Dr. Glen Davidson, Professor at SIU Springfield School of Medicine was also instrumental in helping Sister Jane Marie change the way that perinatal grief was handled within the hospital community.
When Cathi Lammert, Share's previous Executive Director, visited Sister Jane Marie Lamb after her diagnosis of terminal cancer, Sister Jane Marie expressed about Share's growth: "It was beyond my wildest dreams that this could happen!" She told Cathi that "her life was so full and blessed" due to the ministry of Share. She was grateful to have met so many wonderful people and she was appreciative of all the people who carried on the work of caring for bereaved parents.
These Precious Babies Changed My Life
Sister Jane Marie Lamb, OSF
It is always a privilege to honor and remember the many precious babies who were real and who were loved. My
time of nearly 30 years journeying with bereaved parents has a been a gifted time for me in more ways than I could
ever tell you. I treasure the memories of these precious babies and of their parents as I saw their courage and deep
love for their child who had died. It was a privilege to share in the precious moments spent with these special babies.
It was through the life and death of one precious little girl, Anna Marie, who was stillborn in the hospital where I had
recently joined the staff as chaplain. This was in 1977 when the average caregiver, including myself, had no
preparation to fall back on during the crisis precipitated by an infant's death. The parents were devastated when
Anna Marie was stillborn. For the first three days, the father was alone, as the mother remained in a coma with
complications and was hospitalized for a month.
Though I had been a Maternity nurse, I had no preparation to deal with grief, at least I didn't think I had any insights into
their pain. Looking back, I realized that I had developed sensitivity to my mother's grief when my older sister died at age 18
- I was only 9 years old at the time. The parents taught me to listen with empathy, to respond to their needs and to be
their advocate. They needed most an avenue to give them options and the opportunity to make their own decisions. My
role became one of journeying with them, to comfort them and to listen. They became my first teachers.
Later when I moved to St. John's Hospital in Springfield, Illinois, through a series of circumstances in this large hospital, I
found myself responding to other parents with a similar experience. From my beginnings with little Anne Marie, I have
continued to journey with hundreds of families in the United States and other continents.
Every child's life is precious and who can be more precious to parents than their infant? The hopes and dreams for this
child are filled with anticipation and joy. Suddenly, their dreams are shattered and the world around them shaken. The
parents find it difficult as they try to make it alone. We as caregivers are privileged to journey with the families during this
time of putting the pieces back together.
In the past two years, Share has trained 765 medical professionals and caregivers to provide improved care for families who have experienced the death of a baby. Visit our Education page to explore online training opportunities available today.
Each October, more than 3,000 people attend the Share Walk for Remembrance and Hope to remember their precious babies and raise awareness for this cause. Join our Share Walk, virtually, in person, or in a community near you.
Four times each year, our local partner Baue Funeral Home holds a burial free of charge for families that have lost their baby before 20 weeks. Share hosts several remembrance events throughout the year, recognizing families' ongoing need to honor their babies.
Share reaches over 100,000 individuals around the globe through social media, providing support and community because no one should go through pregnancy and infant loss alone. Find us on Instagram @nationalshare and on Facebook, too, at Share Pregnancy & Infant Loss Support.
STAFF & BOARD
Budnik, BSN, CPLC
Share Board of Directors
President of the Board
Director - Program Management Office
Vice President of the Board
Inspire Medical Systems, Inc
Director, Financial Reporting
Derek Haake, JD, MBA
Howard Haake, LLC
Ray Harter III
Regional Director of Mission Integration
Katie Johnson, Esq., CFP
James Running, GPHR
Associate Director of Employee Relations
American Bar Association
Baue Funeral Homes
Embalmer/ Location Manager
State Street Bank and Trust
Vice President, corporate compliance- regulatory policy abs strategy
Gary Wellman, PMP