CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Thousands of yellow ducks will soon fill the water at the U.S. National Whitewater Center in an event that will also benefit KinderMourn, a Charlotte agency that helps parents grieving a child.
For Casey and Sabrina Williams, March 11, 2015, was the hardest day of their lives.
They had expected they'd be bringing their newborn son, Noah Williams, home from the hospital, but two days earlier, doctors had told them he didn't have a heartbeat.
He would be stillborn.
“That's your child,” Sabrina Williams said. “Not to hear the cry was hard.”
Instead of dealing with the grief on their own, they turned to KinderMourn.
“It was very helpful to know that there's other people out there that have gone through this,” Casey Williams said.
Kelly Hamilton is the executive director and said she hopes parents find encouragement and support.
“We wanted an event where we would celebrate not only the children and the loved ones who died, and those 20,000 rubber ducks will do that,” Hamilton said. “But we're also celebrating life.”
KinderMourn has helped 25,000 parents since.
"We still have a child," Sabrina Williams said. "You might not get to see him, but he's still our son and we still love him and honor him."
The Hope Floats Duck race on May 1 is an event in which participants pay to adopt a duck that races down the rapids at the U.S. National Whitewater Center.
The sponsor of the first duck to finish wins $2,500, and the goal for the event is to raise $135,000.