Gooseberry Park 5K Brings Awareness to Stillbirth Prevention

Families are running to create change at the fourth annual Mary–Alice 5K

MOORHEAD, Minn. — A local non–profit is showing people in the metro how prevention exists for stillbirth.  They feel the most important step is educating the community.

People from the Valley are coming together to melt away the stigma associated with pregnancy loss.

“This is a really great place for families to come and have some fun in honor of our babies,” said Jason Pratt, the father of Mary-Alice and the 5K Race Director.

Families are running to create change at the fourth annual Mary–Alice 5K at Gooseberry Park.

“Mary-Alice is my daughter, she was stillborn in 2008, and after we lost Mary–Alice we wanted to do something productive in the community and help others in the community have a place to honor their children in heaven,” said Pratt.

The Mary Alice and Friends 5K supports the Star Legacy Foundation. Pratt says they’re the national leader in stillbirth prevention.

Their mission is to raise awareness and education and provide support for families dealing with this kind of loss.

“The community members are really grateful that there’s a place to talk about a difficult subject,” said Pratt.

People of all ages were invited, and the younger kids get their own route. Walkers, runners and even bikers were all welcome.

“Definitely seeing all the smiling faces. You see so many great people that are just looking to support the cause as well,” said Jason Winge, a volunteer at the event.

Whether you are directly or indirectly affected by the cause, families are out here to support and one family even came all the way from California.

“First pregnancy my wife miscarried about ten weeks in, so yeah we have a little bit of our own story with the race here. But it all worked out.  We ended up adopting, and then we ended up having our own a couple years later,” said John Luaces, a 5K runner from California.

Luaces wanted to participate in a race while on vacation with his family. To his surprise, the topic of the 5K was close to home.

“So there are always other ways to find a child or take care of a child in your life,” explained Luaces.

The group is pushing to get more people in the Metro involved and aware of stillbirth prevention.

“The more support that we can have in the community, the more validated the people who experience pregnancy loss will feel,” explained Pratt.

The organization is planning a special 5K for their 5th anniversary.  If you’d like to donate, visit their website.

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