March is SUDC (Sudden Unexplained Death in Childhood) awareness month and for that reason this month’s Jeans Day we are supporting The Ariella Marie Foundation.
This month’s employee sponsor, Rebecca O’Connor, became friends with Ariella’s family a few years ago through her daughter’s cheerleading & football league in Norton. Shortly thereafter the unimaginable would ever affect this beautiful little family.
After a healthy 2-year-old check up with her pediatrician in April 2017, beautiful Ariella passed away peacefully in her sleep the same night.
Ariella was an adorable little girl who captured the love of her whole family, including 2 older brothers, as well as anyone she came into contact with. She delighted in her goal of keeping others happy. She loved all things sparkly, dressing up in tutus, and always wearing a bow or headband in her hair.
Since her passing, the Ouellette family has been dedicated to keeping Ariella’s name and spirit alive. They have moved from Norton back to Attleboro where their family grew up. The city of Attleboro has generously allowed them access to build a playground in Ariella’s memory on one of the town properties. The Ouellette family created the Ariella Marie Foundation as a way of spreading the word about SUDC as well as assisting with the funds needed to build the perfect playground. One that Ariella would have loved.
For the past few years, they have hosted a family fun day including a color run for families of all ages as a means of fundraising. They are almost at their goal amount. The Ouellette’s have also recently welcome a new buddle of joy into their life, little Ayla was born earlier this month! They know Ariella will be watching over them every day of their life.
SUDC occurs in children between 12 months-18 years. A diagnosis occurs after no probable cause is determined even after comprehensive investigation into the child’s personal and family medical history and by the medical examiner. Unfortunately, true to its namesake, SUDC has no known causes and no known pre-dispositions. (Sudc.org, n.d.) This ambiguity is what makes SUDC extremely distressing for parents and can compound the trauma in grief. Organizations like The Ariella Marie Foundation and The SUDC Foundation aim to provide funding to learn more about this terrifying anomaly and provide resources to grieving families. Please keep an eye out for our employees sporting jeans on Friday, March 29th in support of SUDC awareness. To learn more about Ariella and the Ouellette’s story please visit https://www.ariellamariefoundation.com/ and to find out more about SUDC and ways you can help please visit https://sudc.org/
Sudc.org. (n.d.). FAQs. [online] Available at: https://sudc.org/what-is-sudc/faqs [Accessed 08 Mar. 2019].