The story of the One Wing Foundation is a story of loss, hope, and perseverance. Founders Holly Aldredge and Katie Schlieve both lost their first children during the third trimester of their pregnancies to stillbirth. It was one of the most difficult, heart-wrenching, emotional situations either of them had ever dealt with. In the days, weeks and months following loss, they felt alone and disconnected from their surroundings. All around them, the world was continuing on and theirs had suddenly stopped. As a Parent of Loss, eventually you have to go back to work, back to your daily routines, but all the while you find that you are just going through the motions because you have experienced something that alters your core. Relationships with family, friends, coworkers, and neighbors change and as you navigate life after loss, you learn very quickly how deafening the silence can be.
After wrestling with grief for almost a month and a half, Katie and her mom sat down to lunch on Hudson’s due date, taking the day to help distract from the sadness. At that lunch, Katie’s mom gave her a small single angel wing that fit perfectly in the palm of her hand, almost like a hand cross. Ann then showed her a bracelet she was wearing. The bracelet had an angel on it and the words "we are angels with one wing, we must embrace each other to fly." Katie and Ann bought every single angel wing they could find and used this as something to give to other bereaved families with this quote. To them it meant community. That day they discussed how they could help other bereaved families, how they could do something to continue to give Hudson life. Coming from a fundraising background and a golf family, Katie thought a golf tournament, the Hudder Putter Classic, would be the most appropriate way to honor Hudson’s life and to raise funds to be distributed to organizations in Dallas/Fort Worth that bereaved families could benefit from.
Katie and Holly were put in touch by mutual friends and sat down together for the first time shortly after Hudson’s due date. They connected with one another about this new dark sisterhood they had both become members of and found solace in one another’s experiences, finding true understanding in a now isolating world. Losing a child changes a person. It carries a special type of pain that cannot be described, but only understood by those who have been there. They leaned on each other for support, advice, and grief sharing. In the midst of their grief, they started to talk to one another about their desire to do something more, to break the silence and stigma surrounding stillbirth and be a voice to advocate for pregnancy and infant loss. They didn't want anyone else to know what this is like, but if they had to, they wanted them to have the resources they needed to get through it. The two grew a friendship and began to share this passion that they both had to take what they’d been through and create a legacy for their children and all other angel babies.
In January 2016, the One Wing Foundation was created. As two bereaved families of stillbirth loss, we have come together to create a system of support, awareness, courage, and community. Thank you for being here with us, thank you for helping us give life to all babies whose parents hold them in their hearts, rather than in their arms.
Holly Aldredge & Katie Schlieve, Co-Founders
OWF is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, EIN : 81-1199100
Katie and Max had been married just shy of two years when they learned they would be expanding their family with their first baby. On May 26, 2015, Katie went in for a routine appointment, that were occurring every two weeks at that point, to find her son no longer had a
heartbeat after what had been classified as a perfect pregnancy. She was admitted immediately to Labor and Delivery at Baylor University Medical Center of Dallas. At 1:47 am on May 27, at exactly 33 weeks, Hudson John Schlieve was brought into the world at 3 lbs, 14 oz. and 17 in. He was a beautiful and perfect sleeping angel, but left us too soon due to a nuchal cord accident. Since that time, the Schlieves have gone on to welcome two baby girls after loss - Hadley in October 2016 and Hannah in April 2018.
Holly and Parker had been married for five years and after a few miscarriages they were ecstatic to finally announce that they were expecting a Baby in early 2015. After being dilated for a few weeks, one night Holly just felt that things were off.
The entire pregnancy had been smooth so a quick trip to the Hospital at 37 weeks was just to ease her mind. After three separate sonogram machines were used, the nurse brought in the Doctor on call to let them know that they couldn't find a heartbeat. She was admitted to Presbyterian Hospital and on February 20th at 5:43 pm, Olivia Lynn Aldredge was delivered as a beautiful sleeping baby at 7lbs 5oz., 20.5 inches long. Since that time, the Aldredges have gone on to welcome two baby boys after loss - Jack in March 2016 and Cole in August 2017.