The CJ Foundation is coming upon its 23rd anniversary this February. Our darling daughter Carly Jenna would have been 24 years old this past November. To this very day, Joel and I can still remember every single detail of the day we found her lifeless body in her crib. I am still constantly reminded of all that she has missed in life. Starting the CJ Foundation for SIDS has been a healing journey for our family, and the thousands of other families whose lives have been touched by the tragedy of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome or Sudden Unexpected Infant Death.
And now, moving into the New Year the CJ Foundation for SIDS is about to take an exciting new step. Through our desire to become a stronger and more successful organization, the CJ Foundation for SIDS and First Candle will merge to become CJ First Candle. Our driving force remains the same: Saving Babies and Supporting Families.
As our cherished friends, families and supporters we wanted you to be the first to hear our news. Most importantly we hope you will share in our excitement as we venture into this new phase of savings babies lives.
Formed in 1993 as the SIDS Alliance then renamed First Candle in 2002, they are known for their educational programs and collaborative relationships with NIH (National Institutes of Health) and MCHB (Maternal Child Health Bureau). First Candle has always had a very similar mission and vision as the CJ Foundation. For many years the two organizations have worked hand in hand to help solve the mystery of SIDS, SUID, and Stillbirth.
The CJ First Candle’s expanded network capability will benefit family events and regional programs. Our expanded outreach will mean more educational programs, more bereavement services and most importantly more funding for our support service and research granting programs. Our joint mission eliminates the need to compete for funding and donation dollars, streamlining our efforts to channel support where it is needed.
Alison Jacobson, current CEO/Executive Director of First Candle will continue in this capacity for CJ First Candle. Joel and I have known Alison since 1997 when the tragedy of SIDS took her son, Connor. She is highly regarded within the Baby Safety industry and the SIDS/SUID community. The CJ Foundation for SIDS is honored and proud to have Alison leading the way in this new venture.
Joel and I would like to thank everyone who has stood by us and supported us the last 23 years. You have taken this healing journey with us. It is not just ourselves, staff and CJ Board of Directors, but other SIDS/SUID parents and families, without whose constant support there would be no CJ Foundation for SIDS. Thank you so much to all our donors and supporters who believed in our mission.
I hope we can continue to count on your support as the CJ First Candle organization moves forward to become an even stronger entity to help every baby reach their first birthday.
Please feel free to contact Alison or myself with any question or thoughts. Continue to check our websites for our launch of CJ First Candle (within 30 days).
CJ First Candle
CJ Foundation for SIDS
CJ Foundation for SIDS