A Tri-State family's story of loss and heartbreak has captured the hearts of thousands from across the MidWest.
For the last three years, Tiffany and Rome Frericks have turned their tragedy into hope for other families going through the same challenges. The Frerick's lost their baby boy Cadan Christopher to a Congenital Diaphragmatic Hernia (CDH) in December of 2008. Cadan was only 12 days old. Since then, the Frericks have raised more then $20,000 dollars through Cadan's Carnival. That money is presented to Cadan's doctor at St. Louis Children's Hospital for more research on CDH.
Sunday, more than a thousand people attended the third annual Cadan's Carnival to support the cause.
"We just felt like his life couldn't be in vain, we had to do something. So we decided to start this event to create the awareness and help fund the research to find some answers. That way, hopefully more babies go home in the future and don't have to suffer like Cadan did," said Tiffany Frericks, Cadan's mother and the carnival's founder.
For many families, the event meant more to them than one family's struggle but also their own.
"We firmly believe that the money raised for Washington University and St. Louis Children's Hospital probably saved our daughter's life. That the research that they learned from prior cases and continued research from fundraisers like this allows her to be here," said Alan Pasley, a father of a CDH survivor.
A common theme from the families of CDH survivors is hope.
"Even with the percentages that they give you of survival rates anything is possible. It's just great to have Avery here and it is about hope," said Heidi Gaulding, a mother of a CDH survivor.
We also spoke to one expectant mom who's due date is scheduled in December. She too, will face the struggles of delivering a CDH baby. Her family is thankful for the impact the carnival will have for baby Isaac and others with his condition.
"Any bit of research we can get, any bit of extra hope and help that we can get to make a better future for the babies coming ahead of Isaac will be just awesome," said Chris Trujillo, the expecting grandmother of Baby Isaac.
*Contributed by KHQA's Chrissy Mueller.