Derek's Dream

Team Captain: Diana Kelley


On October 12, 1985 My third child, Derek Joseph, was stillborn at 39 weeks and 4 days (full term). Derek was perfect in every way and according to the autopsy “normal of gestational age”…I personally believe that Derek was to perfect stay here on earth.

Following Derek’s silent birth, there were many tears and even more unanswered questions.  Considering the attitude of the 80’s, what happened next is quite extraordinary.  The hospital staff gave us the opportunity to hold Derek for 3 hours, something that was very unusual for the time. We used that time to take what are now priceless pictures of this precious family member, time that I will always be thankful for.  

Following Derek’s death I spent many hours looking for information on stillbirth. My friends and family also looked for resources and found very little. I found myself becoming more and more passionate about finding information that would help me.

At my six week checkup my doctor said “There were no medical reasons that Derek died and if I needed a reason, it has to be to help others who experience the same thing.” Shortly after that appointment other women who had experienced losses started contacting me. Two years later (in 1987) with the help of two friends, Chris Petricka and Mary Parker, Infants Remembered In Silence ©  (IRIS) was founded.

Our goal at that time was to help “one” person a year, locally in Faribault, Minnesota. Today IRIS is a respected international organization based in Faribault. IRIS is a 501(c) 3 non-profit organization that has over 300 volunteers and works with between 6 and 7 thousand people each year and thousands more around the world.  We have an advocate program (the only one that we know of in the world that works directly with the parents and their baby in the hospitals and funeral home settings, providing everything free of charge in our 6 county service area.) We answer questions, help create breathtaking keepsakes, have designed burial clothing for infants 2 – 24 inches in length, offer bereavement support packets, host support groups, scrapbooking events, a holiday service of remembrance, a website, training, and much more.

Even though Derek was born still, he truly has touched and changed the lives of thousands of people around the world. I believe I known the purpose for his short but meaningful life. It is my hope that you will be able to help support this wonderful and very personal cause by joining me in walking (or running) on Thanksgiving morning - November 25, 2021.  You are also welcome to offer financial support to this great organization by making a tax-deductible donation today by making a donation to this team page.


In Loving Memory of

Derek Joseph Sundwall

October 12, 1985


“Time cannot steal the precious memories we carry in our hearts.” DMK


An Angel in the book of life,

Wrote down your baby’s birth,

And whispered as she closed the book…

Too beautiful for earth . . .


(author unknown)



Team Members:

Angie Sundwall
Total Raised: $38.00
Edit Team