Nine days later, Pope gave her daughter a bottle, and they dozed off together on the couch. When Pope awoke, Breanna did not.
The new family’s life was unexpectedly shattered by Breanna’s death from Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, which has no known cause. There is no warning of the syndrome, and almost all SIDS deaths occur when the infant is thought to be sleeping, according to the U.S. National Library of Medicine.
SIDS is the leading cause of death among infants ages 1-12 months, and was the third most common cause of infant death in 2008, according to the National SUID/SIDS Resource Center. A total of 2,353 deaths from the syndrome occurred that year.
In order to honor her daughter and bring awareness of the syndrome to the local area, Pope is organizing the first annual Little Miss Breanna SIDS Awareness Pageant planned in Rome on Aug. 11. Proceeds will go to the American SIDS Institute to further research into the syndrome.
“She was totally healthy, and if I could raise one dollar so no other parent or baby has to go through this, I feel I could make a difference,” said Pope.
So far, 40 girls have been signed up for the pageant that includes seven divisions for ages of less than a month old to 15 years old. Pageant registration costs $50, and the deadline is Aug. 1.
The pageant planning, which began in March, has been a learning experience for Pope. She said she met more parents in the area who have lost children to SIDS and it was a comfort knowing she wasn’t the only one out there to be affected.
“I was shocked to hear that people I’ve known for years, that they’ve been through the same thing,” said Pope. “I have several mothers that have had a hard time dealing with their infant’s loss.”
Mothers and families will discuss their experiences with the syndrome at the event. The pageant will be Aug. 11 at 4 p.m. at Belle Terra, 4432 Cave Spring Road.
See the website at www.littlemissbreanna.weebly.com for full details about the pageant. For more information, contact Julia Pope at firstname.lastname@example.org or 706-252-4509.