The family behind AFE Awareness Day

Why is March 27th AFE Awareness Day?

This is the touching story of how one family’s life was forever changed by AFE and how their one simple action inspired a movement.

On March 27, 2017 we received a call from a gentleman who was curious about our organization and exceptionally inquisitive about the previous day’s AFE awareness activities. AFE Foundation Executive Director, Miranda took his call. She explained that years ago she had been a member of an online support group for AFE survivors and that there had been a tradition of lighting a candle on March 27th at 9:15 pm in memory of those lost to AFE. The vigil had been started by another member who wanted to honor his late wife. Miranda further explained that in 2008 when the AFE Foundation was formed it was decided to carry the candle lighting tradition and make it into an entire awareness day; a common practice for charitable or social causes. In doing so, all affected by AFE would be joined together on one day and the tradition of lighting a candle would continue.

In memory of Lisa Blaauboer March 27, 2003.

The phone was quiet, and then gentlemen shared he had once been a member of an AFE Survivors Support Group in 2003 but had left after about a year after joining. He mentioned he was still curious about AFE many years later and had looked to see if the group was still around. His searches led him to the AFE Foundation. He then shared that the previous day (March 27th) was his daughter’s 14th birthday and also the day he lost his wife. Suddenly, it all became very clear- THIS WAS THE DAD THAT STARTED THIS SPECIAL TRADITION. His name was Danny. He shared about his beloved wife Lisa, his two wonderful children, and how life had taken a sudden and unexpected turn on March 27th. Miranda assured him that day will always remain his daughter’s celebrated birthday and that the AFE Foundation would forever honor and remember Lisa and all who are lost to AFE.

This was an incredibly emotional realization to have a father find the AFE Foundation 14 years later and learn the organization had continued a tradition he had begun. It is moments like this when we are reminded of the importance of our mission and how we are connected through our shared experiences. It also bears repeating that one person can make a difference.

Each March 27th, Danny devotes his entire day to celebrating his beautiful daughter and making sure she always knows how loved and cherished she is. Then, later that evening he lights the unity candle from he and Lisa’s wedding and remembers that special day with fondness. Danny’s heart remains with Lisa.

We were inspired and hope you are too! Please join us in lighting a candle on March 27th at 9:15pm. For Lisa. For all moms. For all babies. For all families.