staff-icon Staff

 

Angie Bailey - Director of Education

Angie Bailey currently serves as the Director of Education for Forever Footprints. Angie graduated with honors from Standbridge College in Irvine and has worked as a Clinical Research Nurse since 2005.

 

Angie’s Story

In 2010, Angie silently gave birth to her first child, Aiden Kenneth Bailey. He was full term and the pregnancy was healthy and uneventful. Aiden was perfect in every way, no reason was ever found for why he was born still. She and her husband continue to mourn their loss every day.

Since losing Aiden, working with families grieving the loss of a child has become her passion. Before moving into her current position, she began working with Forever Footprints in 2011 organizing volunteers for their annual OC Walk to Remember. She also volunteers her time as a HOPE Mentor for the MISS Foundation, a non-profit volunteer based organization providing C.A.R.E. [counseling, advocacy, research, and education] services to families experiencing the death of a child. She also helped to establish the Face-to-Face program for the non-profit group Faces of Loss. She is the proud recipient of The Forever Footprints’ 2013 Compassion Award.

Aracely Rodriguez - Journey to Remember Coordinator

 Aracely Rodriguez is a proud Air Force wife who has had the opportunity of being stationed in amazing places, such as Germany through her 14 years of military life. Aracely has always worked on base and been involved in one way or another with child development services. Aracely currently works for Riverside County Office of Education.

Aracely’s Story

She has 2 loving boys and for that reason she and her husband were so excited to receive the news in 2009 that she was expecting a long awaited little girl. At 22 weeks gestation, Aracely and her husband were told that their much wanted baby girl had a chromosome disorder which is considered incompatible with life. Their sweet little girl would not live. Emmery Star Rodriguez was born on November 3, 2009 and received her angel wings only 34 hours after she arrived, going to heaven on November 4, 2009. Aracely has actively been involved with Walk to Remember, Inland Empire since she first met the founders by chance at a local support group. Aracely has always said that the love and healing that the organization has provided her since the loss of Emmery is immense. She is honored to be a part of this amazing cause and feels privileged to get to do the same for other families.

Amanda Balderrama - Director of Journey to Remember

Amanda Balderrama is a registered nurse who graduated from California State University School of Nursing in 2003 with her BSN. She has worked as a labor and delivery nurse at St. Bernardine Medical Center, and currently Redland’s Community Hospital.

Amanda’s Story 

In 2004, Amanda and her husband discovered the son they were expecting had a birth defect that would not allow for him to live after birth. Fernando Michael Philip was born and went to heaven on August 24, 2004. With nowhere to turn to for support and being isolated in grief, Amanda grieved silently. Years later, learning that sharing is healing, Amanda co-founded Walk to Remember, Inland Empire. She has since completed training as a RTS Coordinator to support families who receive a life-limiting diagnosis in pregnancy. Amanda is a proud mother to two girls she holds in her arms and two babies she carries in her heart. 

 

Laura Navarro Pickens, LCSW - Director of Support

Laura currently serves as the Director of Support for Forever Footprints. She is the facilitator of the Forever Footprints Balancing Life & Loss: Parenting After Loss Support Group and a psychotherapist in private practice treating individuals, couples, families and groups. Her offices are located in Newport Beach and Long Beach. For the past 9 years she has focused her practice on working with families who experience perinatal and infant loss, as well as postpartum mood disorders. Currently, she facilitates three other community support groups:

  • Perinatal Loss Support Group (Hoag Hospital)
  • Pregnancy After Loss Support Group (Hoag Hospital)
  • Postpartum Adjustment Group (Hoag Hospital)

She is currently a member of Hoag Hospital’s Perinatal Loss Team, whose purpose is to realize the most beneficial patient care in the area of perinatal loss and service delivery to families.  At Hoag Hospital, she provides in-room emergency crisis intervention and bereavement services to parents and families who have lost a baby to stillbirth.  She is a member of PLIDA (Pregnancy Loss & Infant Death Alliance), which is an international perinatal bereavement organization. She has been asked to speak at PLIDA’s 2013 International Bereavement Conference about her work with families after loss.  She is the proud recipient of The Forever Footprints’ 2012 Compassion Award.

Andrea Natelborg - Journey to Remember and CE Education Coordinator

Andrea Natelborg is a registered nurse. Andrea specialized in Pediatric Oncology and also fertility nursing. Since becoming a mother Andrea has continued her fertility nursing but now encompasses the palliative care aspect of nursing along with natural care education. Andrea is a new coordinator to the Journey to Remember team, and will also be teaching a palliative care course to local hospitals.

Andrea’s Story

In 2012, after years of emotional fertility treatments that included two miscarriages, Andrea became pregnant with twins. She and her husband were over the moon. Unfortunately due to complications Andrea delivered her twins, Grace and Wyatt at 26 weeks gestation. They were perfect in every way imaginable. Sadly they both went home to the lord five short days later. Andreas life was forever changed. Andrea delved into natural health options and continued her schooling towards her masters. Andrea has always been passionate about end of life care and after losing her own children she knew she had the ability to help others on their journey through loss to healing. Andrea is a mommy to a son and daughter here on earth as well as her two sweet  angels in heaven.

Jasmine Adams - Support Group LCSW

Jasmine Adams is a Forever Footprints Support Group LCSW for our Long Beach Group, Coping With Loss: Helping Families With The Loss Of A Child Through Miscarriage, Stillbirth, and Early Infancy Group . She has her Masters of Social Work from University of Southern California (USC) and BA in Sociology, minor in Substance Abuse Prevention, and minor in Education in a Pluralistic Society from USC.

Jasmine’s Story

My husband and I found out we were pregnant early 2007.  We were super excited to start our family.  We found out at the first ultrasound that we were having “TWINS”.  We were thrilled and scared at the same time for preparing for two babies.  We quickly grew to love the idea of having twins and began to have visions of what our family would be.  Unfortunately our happiness only lasted 13 weeks when we learned that one of the twins, Blake, had anencephaly a neural tubal defect that was going to prevent the top of his brain and scalp to develop.  This diagnosis would almost guarantee our Blake would not survive much longer after delivery. Our other twin Sebastian was developing fine and did not have anencephaly, which was rare since they were identical twins.  The emotional roller coaster of the next 9 weeks were some of the most difficult experiences of our lives.  We explored every option to try to make sure that Sebastian would have a chance to survive after delivery. At 20 weeks we were told that I was at risk for going into labor and we tried everything we could to prevent that.  I had a cerclage procedure and bed rest in Trendelenburg position (head lower than the feet).  We had moments of hope it worked, but a week later my cervics started to dilate.  At 22 weeks my water broke and we were told that we were going to lose both of our babies.  We had not had time to prepare for this and were quickly faced with not only having to bury one of our children, but both.  I choose to give birth to my son’s naturally so I could hold them and honor their bodies, rather than being sucked out by a machine which was the other option.  After 11 hours of labor, my twin sons Sebastian and Blake were born into heaven on May 11, 2007 at 3:06 am. I held my babies in my arms as long as I could.  I knew that mine and my husband’s life had changed forever.
    Leaving the hospital with empty arms, was only one part of the difficult journey that laid ahead of us.  We experienced insensitive medical staff a different points of our journey, family and friends who did not know how to support or deal with the loss, medical complications afterward, my sister delivering her first child only 2 months after our loss, and depression.  After a month of mourning, I knew that I needed support.  I researched options and found help in support groups, on-line support groups, individual therapy, and Forever Footprints, formerly OC Walk to Remember.  The walks helped validate our experience, remind us that we are not alone, and be able to continue to parent our babies year after year.  We have walked for the steps they never got to take for the past 8 years.  During this journey I have worked on being able to recognize the strength my sons gave me and help me be a better person.  In 2008 we welcomed our son Bailey and experienced all the fears, anxiety, and PTSD that occurs with knowing how fragile pregnancy can be.  We continue to embrace the memory of our twins and have their baby brother know about them.  I know now that my sons lives are making a difference by giving me the unique knowledge of knowing what it is like to experience this kind of loss and be able to help others.   I am honored to support others in their journey and with a heavy heart reach my hand to the new members of our group to say “you are not alone”.

 

Sara Smith - Social Media, Support & Volunteer Coordinator

Sara is the Social Media & Volunteer Coordinator for Forever Footprints. Sara also volunteers with the PTA as the Art Docent Coordinator at Golden Elementary School, is the President on the board of the Moms Club of Placentia North and volunteered with Habitat for Humanity back in 2008.

Sara has her Bachelor of Arts in History from California State University of Long Beach.