NORFOLK, Va. (WVEC) -- It's something so heartbreaking, it's hard for many who face it to even accept as real: losing a baby before, during, or shortly after birth.
Loved ones are often left wondering how to be there for a family grieving and searching for the strength to lay their child to rest. After the darkest time of their lives, though, one such family in Hampton Roads found an opportunity to be a bright light for others.
About eight years ago, Heather Wilson and her husband, Demitri, were preparing for the arrival of their baby girl, Kennedy. Sadly, shortly before she was due to enter the world, Kennedy passed away.
As the family planned her funeral, they encountered the challenge of finding a dress that fit her. So, seven years after the loss of their daughter, they founded "Kennedy's Angel Gowns." Heather and Demitri began collecting fine donated garments like wedding gowns and re-purposing them to dress the children they call "angel babies."
"They're just beautiful gowns," said Heather. "And I feel like the babies should be able to wear that material once in their life too, and be honored the way they should be."
Kennedy's Angel Gowns is hosting its second annual Angel Ball at the Virginia Beach Aquarium on Saturday, April 28 at 7 p.m. The event aims to raise awareness of pregnancy and infant loss.
Last year the Angel Ball raised more than $10,000, and this year Kennedy's Angel Gowns hopes to top that amount.