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Advances in health and medicine.
Marjorie Bekaert Thomas
Advances in health and medicine.
SW: Feature Report Channel
Reported April 7, 2014

Genevieve’s Story: Surviving the Loss of a Parent

CHICAGO (Ivanhoe newswire) – Genevieve Liu's dad died two years ago, rescuing two boys from Lake Michigan.

“My dad pushed the two of them back into shore, but 20 minutes went [by] and eventually his body came back,” Liu told Ivanhoe. “He drowned.”

She says she lost the one person who understood her most and never felt so alone.

“There are so many people out there who have lost a parent at a young age, but yet you feel like the only person in the entire world who it’s ever happened to,” Liu said.

One in ten kids in the U.S. under 16 loses a parent each year, but Genevieve says you'd never know it. She says she looked online for support and found only medical and religious advice, and some blog posts. So, the fourteen year old took matters into her own hands. She founded the nonprofit organization: Surviving Life After a Parent Dies, or SLAPD.

“I just came up with it because with the situation, as cliché as it sounds, you’re just sort of slapped in the face,” Liu said.  “I mean you're totally caught off guard. It’s like the floor has come out beneath you and you don't know what to do.”

SLAPD is based on five components: an interactive forum, articles, interviews, ask an expert, and a tribute page.

“It’s a community where teens can go and realize that you're not alone in this situation,” Liu said.Fourteen year old Isabel Levin, a friend and contributor, says she's found a lot of comfort in SLAPD since her mom died of cancer three years ago.

“It makes you feel [I'm] part of a club or a community rather than alone,” Levin told Ivanhoe.

The girls know nothing can bring their parents back, but at least having a place to keep their memories alive will help them move on with their own lives.  MORE.


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