September 27, 2012

TEAM DAREN, Texas Edition

Quick recap for anyone not familiar - in February of 2011 my brother-in-law Daren, a First Lieutenant in the Army, was killed by an IED while leading his Soldiers on a combat patrol in Afghanistan. You can read more about Daren here and here.

Last year we participated in the Soldiers' Marathon at Fort Benning, GA as a way honor and celebrate Daren and raise funds for his Memorial Fund. We had a great turnout and were so glad that so many people came from all over the world (literally - one of Daren's friends came during her leave from Afghanistan!) and that we got together to do good in his name.

This year, we hope it's no different. Over Veteran's Day weekend we will participate in the Central Texas Warrior Dash - a 5K race comprising of obstacles (leaping over fire, climbing under wire, through water pits, over walls, cargo nets etc) . . .finishing off the race with beer, turkey legs and great memories!

If you live in the Austin, Texas area (or want to come visit!) and would like to sign up - you can do so here. Sign up for as close to the 11am time slot as you can get, as that is when the majority of Team Daren participants will be running (there's still plenty of slots at 11:30).

If you don't live nearby and would still like to support Team Daren, you can purchase a T-shirt by filling out this T-shirt order form. Of, if you don't want a T-shirt, but still want to help us raise funds, you can donate to Daren's Memorial Fund here. Daren's fund supports charities such as the Wounded Warrior Project and the Fischer House as well as providing scholarships to wrestlers at Daren's high school.

So, lots of ways to help and show your support - would love for you to join us and appreciate you helping us support his legacy.


Another cause that I'm hoping to support is to help raise funds/donations for the Rasmussen Family. I feel like the Baby Loss community is sometimes small (even though it's far too big), but what I mean is that I feel we are all connected. Because we are. Our grief,our love and children have woven our stories together in a beautiful, albeit heartbreaking, way. I learned of Becky Rasmussen through my friend Laura who informed me last April of the awful news the Becky had lost her second child - her daughter Evelynn. Her first son Liam passed away in 2011 and here she was on the brink of much deserved happiness, only to have her world come crashing down again when just DAYS before her scheduled C-Section, her uterus ruptured leaving Evelynn brain dead. They made the impossible decision to take her off life support and Evelynn passed away at two days old.

My heart goes out to all those who lose a child. But I cannot fathom what my world would have come to had we lost Finley too. I don't know what kind of person I would have become. It's almost too much to even imagine.

Not only has Becky and her husband been through the worst. Twice. But they somehow are showing remarkable grace and perseverance in the process. Becky has even pumped over 16 GALLONS of breast milk for babies in need (mainly NICU babies) - she is taking her grief and literally changing lives with it. It's amazing an humbling. You can read more on her blog here. Currently they are looking to raise funds to help continue the journey to parenthood. Due to her uterine rupture they are having to pursue other means (a gestational carrier) and that, on top of medical bills, is obviously very costly. Becky will be hosting a fundraiser in November (same day as Daren's Warrior Dash!) in which they will auction off things and just try to raise more funds to bring them one step closer to the much deserved happiness we all want for them.

I will be collecting donations for things Becky can use in the silent auction. If you would like to help, please send me an email - Caroline(dot)Hidalgo@yahoo(dot)com, and I will give you my address. Things you can send - any sort of gift item that could be auctioned off for adults or kids - DVDs, toys, candles, stationary,  gift certificates/cards, you name it! Just think of what you'd pay money for at an auction. And if you can't think of anything you can always send a donation. Every little bit will help. Becky lives in Alaska and I'd like to mail this to her by the last week in October.

So, there you have it. Two worthwhile causes. Thank you so much in advance for your support.



  1. Thanks for all the info...prayers to Becky and family and go Team Daren!

  2. I wish we could be there on Veteran's Day weekend for the Team Daren festivities but we certainly will be in spirit.

    I am glad that you posted a link to Becky's blog, for some reason I have not been able to access it until using your link. Weird. You are wonderful for spreading the word.