From Tragedy to Charity Family Hopes to Spread Awareness of SIDS Risk Factors
Peterson, Eric, Daily Herald (Arlington Heights, IL)
Byline: Eric Peterson Daily Herald Staff Writer
A family hopes their tragedy will raise greater awareness of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome through a project under way at St. Peter Lutheran Church and School in Schaumburg.
Rebecca and Paul Tomlinson, who have two daughters at the school, lost their 7-week-old son, Aiden, to SIDS last May.
Paul Tomlinson is head of quality assurance and training at the Hoffman Estates office of the Miami-based Lennar Corporation. He proposed St. Peter as the recipient of his construction company's annual community service project as a way of raising awareness of SIDS.
The corporation will do about $100,000 of repair work at the church and school in December.
Meanwhile, representatives of Sudden Infant Death Services of Illinois will be visiting the school to share information with young parents dropping off and picking up their kids.
Paul Tomlinson said Lennar Corporation typically keeps its service projects low-key. In the past few years, they've been for single-family homes.
But this year's project helps two organizations at once.
St. Peter is benefiting through a new roof that should last for 25 to 30 years, Tomlinson said.
George Perschon, a member of the church board, said the effect of this assistance can't be overestimated.
"For any non-profit private school, any help like this is like an answer to a prayer from heaven," he said.
Natalie Farmer, education coordinator for Sudden Infant Death Services of Illinois, said any opportunity is welcome to increase knowledge of the still mysterious problem her organization fights.
What is known about SIDS is that it's a medical problem caused by a brain stem abnormality affecting regulation of the sleep-wake cycle in infants. …