Our speaker was Ky Joseph, founder of the E.L.L.A foundation. The E.L.L.A (Ever Lasting Little Angels) Foundation is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to helping families who have suffered the loss of a baby for any reason, at any time. Their objective is to create items and tools that are significant in helping couples work through their grief.
 

After several miscarriages, Ky and her husband Damian were thrilled to find she was pregnant. At 5 1/2 months, Ky felt something was wrong and went to the hospital. There she went into premature labour and was told by the  doctors the baby they had so longed for, was going to be born and the chances were high that she would not live due to her under-developed lungs and organs. After 18 hours of labour the perfectly formed  baby girl was born. When Ky held her in her arms, her mother-in-law suggested she should name the baby. At the time Ky was horrified at the thought, but she and Damian named the baby Ella. Ella was wraped in a piece of clothing that had been made by a volunteer, and although she was grateful, Ky wished it could have been warmer and nicer. When Ella died, 3 short hours later, her father-in-law said "Ella stands for Ever lasting little angel".

A month later Ky was in a Michael's store and noticed some lovely velour robes for teddy bears. She quickly realised these were just the size for a preemie and bought all she could find. She sent them off to the hospital where Ella had been born with a request that they be used for other babies like Ella. It took Ky 6 months and many phone calls to finally reach the owner of Michaels. She did not want him to donate these robes, just let her buy them at cost - a significant reduction. He agreed and the E.L.L.A Foundation was born. 

Ky, an avid scrapbooker, had already begun a scrapbook for her baby, and after her death was desperate to preserve anything and everything abut the pregnancy and birth. She could not find a suitable jurnal to record everything and set about writing and customizing a baby journal and keepsake box.  

Each keepsake box holds a robe and a journal for  parents to  record their feelings, hope and dreams for their lost baby.  Each year 5,000 of these boxes are sent to 16 hospitals in the GTA/S/SW Ontario areas.

In addition to a one-night fundraiser that brought in $30,000, several  funeral homes, and the Etobicoke Rotary Club assist with the costs of these boxes.

Ky and Damian are now the very proud parents of a 5-year old daughter, Reine, but will never forget the baby they lost.

For more information on Ky's foundation, go to www.everlastinglittleangels.com.