On 31st January 2011, Debb and Chris Meyer’s first child, Xavier Christopher Meyer, was born at just 25wks gestation due to a placental abruption. He lived for 29 precious hours within the Neonatal Intensive Care environment, before Chris and Debb made the heartbreaking decision to turn off his life support. They made a pact that day that their son would not die in vain. A relative connected them with Bears Of Hope after they had left the hospital with very little support.
Chris and Debb approached Bears Of Hope about raising money to develop a neonatal bear to be named in Xavier’s honour. This would provide the opportunity to add a male bear to our miscarriage and stillbirth collection. Chris and Debb set a goal to raise $50,000 to launch the Xavier Bear.
On Saturday 25th September 2011, Bears Of Hope launched Xavier Bear and presented the very first bear to Debb and Chris at our 3rd Annual Ball.
Debb and Chris continued to fundraise and on the day of Xavier’s 1st Birthday, they had reached over $52,000. Xavier’s legacy to the world is Xavier Bear. This will enable hundreds of families to receive support in the NICU environment and pay for Psychologists to facilitate our support groups.
We are so appreciative of Debb and Chris choosing and helping Bears of Hope to support families who lose their baby in the NICU environment. Raising $50K is no easy feat and for us, this is an extremely overwhelming amount of financial support. It has allowed us to complete our collection and focus on meeting the needs of families within this environment.
“Leaving the hospital empty handed, to return to an empty nursery, was the most harrowing and lonely experience of our lives. We lost the thing we wanted most in the world, our son, a family. We are so proud his short but beautiful life has touched so many people in our community. We are humbled to know that other parents having to end their precious children’s lives will find comfort in holding their Xavier Bear as they make their long and lonely journey home to the empty nursery. There is not a minute that goes by that I don’t think of Xavier. He sits in my periphery; I feel him around me and keep him in my heart. Despite what people say when you lose a child, time doesn’t heal your loss, you just learn to adapt. The acute grief has an end but there is lifelong grief, only another bereaved parent can understand. Hope is one of the most powerful emotions. When all your dreams are totally and completely shattered and the beautiful baby you gave life to dies in your arms, all you have is hope. For us parents, who have lost babies, hope is what gets us out of bed in the morning. Hope is the glimmer of light we can see in our deepest darkest despair, when we have nothing left to give and we don’t want to go on. That’s why Bears Of Hope and all that it does is so powerful, they help us on our healing journey to move forward with our lives, to find hope and happiness.”