Parents remember children they have lost during Path of Light event

Path of Light event remembers children

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. - The national Compassionate Friends organization held their first Path of Light fundraiser-- dedicated to parents who have lost a child.

On Tuesday evening, dozens of people came out to remember the children they have lost.

Families who participated set up tables, filled with items they use to remember their children by. "My first son, his name is Cris Ornelas, he was stillborn, I was approximately eight months pregnant. And then I have my third child, his name is Michael, he was born with a severe heart defect and needed a heart transplant. He was approximately three months old when he died," said Annette Ornelas.

Annette had received support from Compassionate Friends, so about a year ago, she decided to open her own Bakersfield chapter. In doing so, she's made lifelong friends in the process.

"The best help about this whole thing is being able to talk to other people that have kind of experienced the same experience- the same catastrophic experience that you have had. We lost our son, and it was a very tragic accident, and it was an accident, he was killed by his brother who was driving the vehicle while intoxicated," said Lauren Van Winkle.

"There's only so much talk can do. So you just have to be with other people," added Bill Van Winkle.

Compassionate friends meets every second Tuesday of the month at the First Congressional Church, on 5 Real Road in Bakersfield.

If you'd like to get involved, contact Annette Ornelas at 836-5649. 

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