OUR LEADERSHIP TEAM
I was certain I must have done something wrong to cause my daughter's death - until I heard hundreds of stories just. like. mine. We as mothers did not fail our babies. This is a system-wide failure, a failure to empower the right people with the right information at the right time. And we are saying, 'Enough.'
White Ally Mom to Mixed Race (Brown) Children; she/her/hers
Westchester County, NY & The Jersey Shore
Unmatched Efficiency, Keen Eye for Design, Relentless Determination
The first problem Samantha Banerjee ever encountered that she couldn't solve was her daughter's death. Samantha relishes productivity, doesn't believe in doing anything halfway, and absolutely despises being told 'no.' Needless to say, the utter lack of progress in improving the US stillbirth rate drives her positively insane.
Following her daughter's cord accident just two days before the due date of her otherwise blissful first pregnancy, Samantha became known within the loss community for her candid writing on grief and has been featured in The Washington Post, TODAY, ProPublica, and ABC News; she also moonlights as an independent author of young adult science fiction. A former Microsoft software engineer, small business owner, DIY-enthusiast, and graduate of the University of Pennsylvania's Jerome Fisher Program in Management & Technology with degrees in Systems Engineering and Business Operations from the Wharton School, there's no challenge Samantha's not ready to take on (except death).
Samantha was fortunate enough to deliver a healthy son and second daughter after her stillbirth, and is married to the kindest, most patient man ever to grace this planet. She loves to read and play video games, has a penchant for contact sports, and is obsessed with her dog.
born still in 2013
I vow to never be quiet about my son or the searing duality that is my life as a grieving parent in order to make others feel more comfortable with the complicated person that I have become. Do not let others determine how you 'should' grieve. Know it’s okay to feel what you feel, and that you’re not alone.
Latina Mom to Black Latino Children; she/her/hers
Cali native in Brooklyn
Candor, Authentic Unifier, Role Model for the Griefy-Yet-Thriving
DIRECTOR OF OPERATIONS
Domenique Rice wears many hats – staunch activist, laid-back California transplant, savvy Brooklyn girl, superstar salesperson – but her most important role is that of (bereaved) mother of five. Domenique never had any reason to suspect that something was amiss in her second pregnancy, at least, not until it was already too late. Like most parents, stillbirth and preventative measures were never discussed with Domenique, leaving her completely blindsided when at 36.5 weeks pregnant she unexpectedly went into labor and her second child and first son, TJ, was born still.
In between her morning "TJ coffee" where she holds space each day for her son, rocking a successful sales career, and loving on TJ's living siblings, Domenique is passionate about sharing her stillborn son, creating stillbirth and child death awareness, and connecting with other child death families to support them in their nontraditional parenthood. Grief is not something that parents should need to hide. Stillbirth affects over 23,000 families each year, and Domenique is not willing to stand by while any of them are silenced for one moment longer.
Feel free to connect with Domenique on her well-regarded Instagram account, @stillbirthmamafightingforlight, where she is actively breaking down stigma and dropping knowledge to prevent stillbirths from happening.
born still in 2017
We were, like most other parents, completely naïve that anything as horrible as a loss at the end of the 3rd trimester could occur. No one warned us about stillbirth. Doctors can’t be afraid of 'scaring' families with knowledge, and parents can’t be shy about speaking up - we have to work together to end this crisis once and for all!
Latina (Mexican-American) Bilingual in Spanish; she/her/hers
Cali Girl transplant to NC
Genuine Connection, Vulnerability, Action-Oriented Passion
CO-DIRECTOR OF COMMUNICATIONS
When Ana Vick realized late one night many months into her "textbook" pregnancy that her son, Owen, wasn’t moving much, the last thing she expected at the ER was an hour of vagueness ending in a crash c-section to rescue her son's dramatically plummeting heartbeat. They were too late – she emerged from the hospital with empty arms into a life she no longer recognized.
It wasn’t until months later when she finally summoned the nerve to request her son’s birth certificate that Ana found out he was labeled as "stillborn." A high-risk, complication-laded subsequent pregnancy finally resulted in a healthy living sibling for her elder daughter, but Ana's experiences after a stillbirth and two miscarriages have taught her that spreading awareness and empowering families is key.
Ana's previous life had evolved from UCLA Psychology graduate to production at E! Network to catering sales director; none of her former self seems to have survived her metamorphosis after loss, but she’s okay with that! A proud warrior momma battling grief, PTSD, and of course, stillbirth in honor of her son, Ana also writes on her personal blog Still My Son. And somehow, she has learned to laugh and smile again - she loves to throw parties and craft.
born still in 2015
Latina Woman (Ecuadorian & Spanish); Mother of 2 Biracial Children; She/Her/Hers/They/Them/Ella
Fort Worth, Texas
Never Ending Energy, Truly Empathetic, Tireless Determination
CO-DIRECTOR OF COMMUNICATIONS & CHANGEMAKER CARE TEAM LEAD
In 2020, Camila and her family sacrificed their life to give a couple the gift of having a baby. Camila became a surrogate and had a perfect journey which unfortunately ended in stillbirth at 39 weeks. After experiencing what Camila says was the “worst event of her life,” she decided to use her voice to ensure that no mother ever has to go through this pain again. She found support through PUSH for Empowered Pregnancy, but also found her purpose; to help other moms. Camila has 2 children of her own and has been with her husband since 2012. She is a Salon Owner and Cosmetologist Instructor. Her never ending energy allows her to lead a Cultural Enrichment Committee at her kid’s school and dedicate her free time to save babies from preventable stillbirth. Camila loves to dance and have a good time-always! Her passion for learning new things keeps her life interesting. She loves spending time with her family doing things like hiking, crafts, science experiments and going to museums.
Camila welcomes everyone who needs a shoulder to lean on with open arms. Feel free to follow her and/or reach out!
stillbirth in 2021
Haitian-American Mother of Biracial Children; she/her/hers
Brooklyn to the fullest
Bilingual in Haitian Kreyol, Empathetic, Diplomatic, a Doer, All-Around Good Timer
CO-DIRECTOR OF AWARENESS
After going through a devastating loss, Marjorie Vail quickly realized that the only way to get through hardship is to help others. Since that time, Marjorie has devoted her life to being in service of others through missionary work abroad and volunteering for New York Cares, Propelled Media, NYC Books Through Bars, American Heart Association, and Star Legacy Foundation, which culminated in a citation as a “Woman of Excellence” from Brooklyn’s Borough President Eric Adams.
After Marjorie and Roman’s son, Aleksei, was born still at 37 weeks, she made a decision to be a megaphone in the fight against stillbirth. She is currently the fighting the good fight to eradicate stillbirth by leading the charge on awareness efforts through PUSH for Empowered Pregnancy.
In addition to her volunteer and charity work, Marjorie is a licensed esthetician, the Vice President of Education with the L.A.C.E. Toastmasters, and pageant queen, having held the titles of Mrs. New York International 2015 and Mrs. New York American 2020 with stillbirth as her platform. Marjorie loves to hang out with her “boys” (husband, Roman, and son, Amaelian), read books, watch period pieces, and rock it as a captivating public speaker. Marjorie holds a Master of Arts in Childhood Education from New York University with Kappa Delta Pi honors, a Master of Science in School Counseling from Alfred University, and a MEd in Education Leadership from College of Saint Rose. She resides in Brooklyn (where all the cool kids are!).
born still in 2004
White Ally Mom to a Mixed Race (Black) Child; she/her/hers
Jersey Girl now in DC
Organization, Writing, Managing 20+ Energetic Kids in a Classroom Solo!
CO-DIRECTOR OF AWARENESS
Losing her first daughter, Aaliyah Denise Briscoe, sparked Elizabeth O'Donnell to immediately jump into action and become an advocate in the loss community. Since Aaliyah's death, Elizabeth has been passionately challenging the US's outdated and inadequate definitions of "paid family leave."
Her efforts led Washington D.C. to pass D.C. Act 24-31 "District Government Family Bereavement Leave Emergency Amendment Act of 2021," finally allowing parents who experience a stillbirth or death of a child under 21 years of age to receive 10 days of bereavement leave. This is just the beginning of change for families who have suffered the heartbreak of losing a child, and Elizabeth looks forward to breaking down many more barriers in her role at PUSH!
A graduate of The George Washington University for both undergraduate and graduate work, Elizabeth is a dedicated elementary teacher in Washington D.C. The organization, patience, and teamwork skills she uses – and teaches – in the classroom lend nicely to holding others accountable and making change in the area of rights for expectant families and those who have experienced loss.
born still in 2020
Tenacity, No Longer Accepting the Status Quo, Getting Into Good Trouble
DIRECTOR OF MEDICAL INNOVATION & ADVANCEMENT
Despite an intense fear of pregnancy and giving birth, Marny never imagined that her first child could be born dead. Marny became an advocate for stillbirth prevention after her son, Heath, was stillborn at almost 37 weeks in September of 2019. At the time, she didn’t realize how many lives stillbirth claims because in our society, stillbirth is considered a taboo topic associated with stigma and shame and therefore is not spoken about.
After learning how other countries have successfully decreased their stillbirth rate she became passionate about bringing those methods to the US as well as improving maternal care and racial health disparities. Marny's essay "After A Death, Bringing Stillbirth Prevention To The US" appeared in the January 2022 issue of Health Affairs. Her story has also appeared in USA Today, FOX 5, CBS, Lohud, Insider, and Larchmont Living.
born still in 2019
Public Speaking, Project Management, Dark Humor
DIRECTOR OF POLICY
Allie is a California native and a mother to three. Besides being in the middle of a pandemic, her first pregnancy was perfect. As a healthy 28 year old she never dreamed something could go wrong, especially after that daunting 13 week mark. But at nearly 32 weeks Allie was blindsided to learn that her son Henry Justice Felker (Hank) had died.
This was especially heart wrenching as Allie went to the hospital the day prior for reduced movement and was eventually sent home.
Allie has found peace through advocacy and enjoys using her voice as a way to parent Hank. She has one living child, Octavia Victory (Tavie) who is an advocate in training. Their family is expecting their third child Maximus Valor (Max) in March of 2023.
born still in 2020