On February 17, 2011 Lesley and Pete Mitchell gave birth to their baby girl, Lucy Rose Mitchell, who was born an angel. They got the unexpected and heartbreaking news at Lesley’s 17 week prenatal checkup that the baby no longer had a heart beat. Lesley and Pete went to the UPMC Hamot Women’s Hospital where Lesley gave birth to their baby. They learned that the umbilical cord had been twice wrapped around her neck. They buried their baby girl the next day. They had feelings of anger, confusion, and deep sadness as they contemplated the future that was lost with Lucy’s death.
The Mitchells became passionate about healing. They felt there was a lack of community support for parents, like themselves, who suffered through the death of a child. They were unable to find a support system that promoted a healthy healing process. This is how “Lucy’s First Step Fund” came to be. “Lucy’s First Step Fund” has developed a counselor-moderated group therapy program. This six-week program promotes the healing process by guiding individuals through their grief. The goal is to create a supportive and healthy environment for parents to grieve. “Lucy’s First Step Fund” is designed to help parents take their first steps towards learning how to live with the overwhelming loss of a child. Although the sense of loss never goes away, the Mitchells found it is possible to give the grief a place in their life while continuing to live.
Coupled with the group therapy program, “Lucy’s First Step Fund” is offering assistance to parents who require further support by providing financial assistance for private counseling to those who are financially disadvantaged.
In addition, to alleviate the unforeseen financial burden during a very difficult time, “Lucy’s First Step Fund” is offering financial assistance for infant burials working closely with some of our local funeral homes to provide this service.