The phenomenal Darlene O'laughlin, mother to Adeline Margaret "Ladybug" born August 12, 2011. Darlene had reconciled the fact that she would always just be an aunt and with 9 nieces and nephews she was happy to fill that roll. Her daughter's conception was a happy surprise and Darlene's pregnancy and birth were uneventful. Darlene is a strong single mother and says that her daughter's arrival taught her pure joy and what it truly means to love unconditionally. For 14 months, Darlene says that she and Adeline just had fun together; "watching her grow, play, discover new things, and laugh her infectious laugh was what life was all about".
October 18, 2012 began as any day did for mother and daughter. They woke up, got ready for work and day care. Adeline talked to her Aunt on the phone and said her name for the first time and when Adeline walked into school she waved and said hello to everyone as happy and robust as ever. Darlene gave her love and said "See you later", not knowing that was the last time she'd see her daughter alive. That afternoon Adeline went down for a nap and never woke up.
The cause of her daughter's death was never found and since she's passed Darlene has put her energy into her job and raising awareness for the Sudden Unexplained Death in Childhood (SUDC). The SUDC helps grieving families that have children over the age of 12 months that die unexpected. Along with her family and friends, she has started Adeline's Angels 5K and 1 Mile Walk to bring people together to educate them about SUDC, as it is such a rare occurrence. Darlene also hopes to start a 503-C organization, Adeline's Angels Foundation to provide scholarships for single parents to provide educational opportunities for their children.
Darlene hopes that someday, she'll find herself in the place where she can find a life partner, have another child and experience some of the joy that Adeline brought her, she says however that whoever she meets will need to learn to love Adeline as she does and welcome her as part of their family. Her daughter's beautiful light and legacy continues to live on through Darlene's commitment to sharing her story, providing support for other bereaved parents and raising awareness for Sudden Unexplained Death in Childhood.