(Alton, IL - January 20, 2010) – Few things compare to the loss of a child, and losing a child shortly after birth hurts that much more. Nancy Maruyama from SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome) of Illinois will be at Alton Memorial Hospital on Tuesday, Jan. 26, to share her experience and help families guard against this tragic situation.

Maruyama, who lost her son Brendan to SIDS in 1985 when he was only five months old, is the co-executive director for Education and Community Outreach for SIDS of Illinois. She will give a presentation from 6 to 8 p.m. Tuesday in the AMH cafeteria meeting rooms. The presentation is targeted at new and expectant parents, grandparents and caregivers of infants up to 1 year of age, as well as families anticipating pregnancy. To register for this free event, call 1-800-392-0936.

SIDS of Illinois is dedicated to the prevention and eventual elimination of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome and other causes of infant death. SIDS, which remains unexplained after a thorough investigation, is the leading cause of death among infants beyond the newborn period. It strikes without warning and without explanation, leaving families of all races and economic status to mourn the sudden and tragic loss of their child.

SIDS of Illinois (formerly known as the SIDS Alliance of Illinois) was founded in 1968 by parents who had lost a child to SIDS as a vehicle for peer support for newly bereaved parents. However, breakthrough research in the early 1990s revealed specific behaviors that can notably lower the risk of SIDS, such as putting babies to sleep on their backs. In response to this knowledge, the organization expanded its mission and became active participants in the struggle to eliminate or reduce the incidence of SIDS and other forms of infant mortality through education and research.

Maruyama began as a volunteer peer contact just a year after the death of her son. In 2000, Nancy became director of Education on a part-time basis and in 2002 she took on her current role. In the past, she has served on the board of directors as well as several committees for the SIDS family of organizations, both nationally and internationally. She has published a number of articles related to parental loss of an infant and SIDS risk reduction.

Maruyama is also considered a master trainer and travels throughout the United States speaking on subjects relating to safe sleep and parental bereavement. Nancy and her husband, Rod, have two other children -- Caitlin and Jennifer.

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