After the loss of her son Wilder in 2017, Kimberly Lockhart began searching for a sense of community. She discovered that Vancouver did not have a memorial walk for infertility and pregnancy loss. Lockhart knew there was a need to raise awareness and she desired to bring families together to connect and support one another. Lockhart contacted the BC Women’s Health Foundation. She was put in contact with Emily Cordonier with Butterfly Run Ottawa, a run to support those experiencing pregnancy loss in Ottawa. Butterfly Run Ottawa agreed to provide the advice and support that Lockhart needed to get the event planning started in Vancouver.
Soon after the planning began, Lockhart shared the idea with friends who had also experienced the pain of pregnancy and infant loss. From there, a group of volunteers formed to organize the first Butterfly Run Vancouver on Saturday October 5th, 2019 along South False Creek Seawall.
“The Butterfly Run Vancouver is a memorial run/walk so we can remember our babies who have passed away and is also our way of raising awareness about infertility, pregnancy loss, and infant loss,” Lockhart states.
Since then, the Butterfly Run has been held annually and expanded to Kelowna and Vancouver Island. Last year the Butterfly Run entered its fourth year where over 900 participants joined together in both Vancouver and Victoria to raise awareness about infertility, pregnancy loss, and infant loss. Cumulatively, the Butterfly Run Vancouver has raised over $360,000 since 2019.
In Lockhart’s words, “No one should feel alone regardless of where they are in their journey through parenthood. We know that infertility impacts 1 in 6 people, and 1 in 4 people will experience miscarriage. There are so many families walking through this, and this issue is not going away.”
The fifth Vancouver Butterfly Run will take place on October 15th with a 3KM walk or 5KM run, starting from Olympic Village Square, Vancouver (1650 Manitoba St, Vancouver, BC).
The Butterfly Run is a registered non-profit organization that provides integrated support, resources, and community for all people who have experienced unimaginable loss during the journey to parenthood. The Butterfly Run Canada exists to offer support, compassion and community to honour the babies gone too soon and hold hope for the children to come.
In partnership with BC Women’s Health Foundation, the Vancouver Butterfly Run will be entering its fifth year to gather over 1,000 participants and reach its milestone of raising over half a million dollars to fund its programming and other initiatives. Butterfly Run Vancouver’s programs include:
● Virtual support groups: groups are run by a registered clinical counsellor.
● Bereavement Boxes: these boxes are offered to families who experience a pregnancy or infant loss at the hospital.
● Sending Comfort Cards: the Butterfly Run will send comfort cards upon request to anyone needing comfort in their journey with infertility, pregnancy loss, pregnancy after loss, or infant loss.