Upcoming run benefiting families who have lost children

Last year's Little Warrior Run raised $10,000 to help families who have lost children. (Contributed)

Last year’s Little Warrior Run raised $10,000 to help families who have lost children. (Contributed)

By NEAL WAGNER / Managing Editor

ALABASTER – Alabaster resident Jamie Parker and her husband hope nobody ever has to go through what they did in October 2013.

At just 4 days old, one of the couple’s twins, Wyatt Parker, passed away on Oct. 6, 2013, turning a happy event into a tragedy.

After receiving counseling and support from the Brookwood Medical Center Auxiliary’s Family Support Services, the Parkers decided to do everything they could to help families going through similar heartache.

Last year, the Parkers organized the Little Warrior Run at Alabaster’s Westwood Baptist Church, drawing a much larger crowd than they anticipated.

“We had a great experience with the Alabaster community last year coming out and supporting this event,” Parker said during an Aug. 19 phone interview, noting about 300 people participated in the run last year. “We organized this to support families who have lost pregnancies, infants and children.”

Thanks to the high participation in last year’s event, the family was able to raise $10,000 to donate to the Brookwood Auxiliary, which will be used to fund a conference for medical professionals who provide counseling and other services to families dealing with the death of a child. The conference, named in Wyatt Parker’s honor, will also help families dealing with tragedy to connect with helpful resources in the community.

“The Auxiliary really helps families and gives them great resources,” Parker said. “One of the things we found out was that people don’t know how to reach out for those resources.”

This year, the family is looking to top last year’s participation during the Little Warrior Run 5K, which will be held on Oct. 10 at Veterans Park in Alabaster. Money raised during this year’s run will benefit the Auxiliary and the neonatal intensive care unit at Brookwood.

Advance registration for the event is open through Sept. 27. To pre-register, visit Facebook.com/thelittlewarriorrun and click the Active.com link at the top of the page.

Advance registration is $25 for adults and $20 for children, and registration also will be available the day of the race.