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Las Vegas-area group aids those grieving miscarriages, stillbirths

After a miscarriage last year, Alvina Conway felt completely alone.

The North Las Vegas resident had been pregnant with her first child; it was the second for her husband, Devin Conway. On Feb. 28, 2018 — eight weeks into the pregnancy — they found out she’d had a miscarriage.

Conway said the miscarriage led to a “very deep depression,” and she was suicidal.

“I just felt so defective,” she said.

Conway said she had the support of family and friends, and she and her husband decided to pursue something to help.

They started working in February on launching Remember The Babies Foundation to help those grieving after a miscarriage, a stillbirth or an infant death. The foundation gained nonprofit status in July.

The foundation is organizing a 5K run Oct. 5 at Craig Ranch Regional Park in North Las Vegas. It coincides with Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month.

“The whole goal is to break the silence, because no one really talks about this and it needs to be talked about,” Conway said, adding she doesn’t want anyone affected to feel alone.

The chances of having a miscarriage range from 10 percent to 25 percent of all pregnancies, according to the American Pregnancy Association. A miscarriage, the association’s website says, is a “pregnancy that ends on its own, within the first 20 weeks of gestation.”

Stillbirth, which happens in about 1 percent of pregnancies, is “when a baby dies in the womb after 20 weeks of pregnancy,” according to March of Dimes, a nonprofit focused on the health of mothers and babies.

After the Conway’s miscarriage, “it was a really, really dark time for both of us,” Devin said.

Once Alvina began telling her family and friends about the miscarriage, she realized a lot of other women were going through the same thing, Devin said.

“Basically, she wanted to be the advocate and break the silence for all women,” he said, as well as men.

As a man, “I was taught to be there for my wife and not to show too much emotion,” Devin said, adding he didn’t know how to break the silence.

Devin has an 8-year-old son, works two jobs and volunteers coaching youth football.

5K run

For the Oct. 5 run, a $40 entry fee includes a shirt, a race bib and a medal for participants. Proceeds will go toward the foundation’s operations.

Attendees can either walk or run the approximately 3-mile route, and the aim is to “finish for the babies,” Conway said.

She plans to give a speech before the race. Attendees who’ve lost a child will be invited to share their child’s name.

She hopes to sell 100 to 200 tickets for the 5K run. As of Tuesday, she had sold 72.

Conway said her goal for Remember The Babies Foundation is to raise money to help parents who’ve lost a child with funeral costs and to help with medical bills for women who need a surgery called dilation and curettage — also known as D&C — after a miscarriage.

The foundation also has organized a Light the Night Fest on Mother’s Day and charity flag football game on Father’s Day.

The foundation is “really small right now,” Conway said, and there’s not an office. She gives out her phone number and encourages those who are grieving after a miscarriage, a stillbirth or an infant death to call her day or night.

Conway, who works as a cocktail waitress, said she’s focusing on Remember The Babies Foundation and wants it to expand nationwide.

“It’s my first passion,” she said. “It’s my first everything.”

Contact Julie Wootton-Greener at jgreener@reviewjournal.com or 702-387-2921. Follow @julieswootton on Twitter.

If you go

What: Remember The Babies Foundation 5K run

When: Check-in is at 8-8:45 a.m. and the race is 9 a.m. Oct. 5

Where: Craig Ranch Regional Park, 628 W. Craig Road

Tickets: $40, at eventbrite.com/e/remember-the-babies-5k-run-tickets-62821470710

More information: Call Alvina Conway at 702-201-2205 or visit rememberthebabiesfoundation.com

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