Donna Zimmer - "Forever in My Heart"


Grace Lee Zimmer was born still on April 12, 2012.  At 22 weeks our doctor confirmed our baby’s gender and she was diagnosed with Trisomy 18.  A few days later she was gone.  Grace was my second child of three.  As much as the loss is devastating to parents it also affects family, extended family, and friends.  We miss her so very much and her brothers will forever feel her absence.  Since Grace’s loss, butterflies have come to symbolize the short and dramatic mark she has left on our world.  Through the hospital the Western New York Perinatal Bereavement Network (WNYPBN) provided essential support services at a time when I didn’t know what I needed.  Without the love and support of my family, friends, and the WNYPBN, I would not be the person I am today.  I am grateful to have the opportunity to give back to our community as a WNYPBN volunteer and help those who feel the devastation of leaving a hospital with empty arms. 



Running was never easy for me and as a result, I just didn’t run.  In January 2017, I started running with a goal of completing the Buffalo Shamrock Run in March with some friends.  Running gave me a sense of purpose that required nothing more than strength, determination and putting one foot in front of the other.  On the days when I am consumed by grief, running has been therapeutic.  Some days running is not about the speed or miles, but more about healing.  Running has helped when I feel stressed and anxious or when I just need to think.  Running has taught me that I am capable of so much more than I ever imagined.  This year on the anniversary of Grace’s passing I ran my best 8k to date.  I am proud of what I have accomplished in a few short months.  I successfully completed the Buffalo Shamrock Run, the Buffalo Half Marathon and the Lancaster 4th of July 10k.  I am currently training for a few more races this fall including the Mighty Niagara Half Marathon. 

Grace will live on forever in our hearts.  I am excited to join Run4Buffalo in their mission to support the WNY Perinatal Bereavement Network!

 1 in 4 women and couples have suffered a loss which still remains silent and taboo in our country and across the world.  The WNYPBN offers critical services to the community as they travel the lifelong journey of grieving the loss of a child. 

To learn more about the WNY Perinatal Bereavement Network please visit their website:


Save $3 on your "Forever in My Heart" registration by using promo code: "Grace"