Kenton’s Place: Healing through helping

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EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (WEAU)- Two local moms band together to make the best of a heart breaking situation.

Just two weeks ago Misty Penigar gave birth to her stillborn son Kenton in Eau Claire.

In light of her loss, Misty is hoping to make a difference in the lives of other babies through a breast milk donation bank.

“Kenton was due on February 10th but I kind of had a feeling that he wasn’t ready yet,” Penigar said as she sat in her Eau Claire home surrounded by photos of her son Kenton.

After more than nine months of waiting to meet her bundle of joy-- Misty Penigar says March 4th was the day she finally went into labor.

“There were no signs of (trouble) until they couldn’t hear his heart beat and I was rushed into C-section,” Penigar explained

Everything was normal until complications forced doctors to perform an emergency C-section.

“You expect to wake up and hold your baby and I got to hold him but I never got to hear him cry. I never got to see him move,” Penigar said as she wiped back tears.

In her time of loss, a chance encounter would help Misty remember her son

“I was in labor at the same time as her at the hospital. Earlier in the day the nurses told me it was a race to see who could deliver first,” Brittany Marticorena said.

Mom of three Brittany Marticorena was in labor at the same time as Misty. After learning about Misty's stillborn son, Brittany reached out to offer her support.

“The only milk bank that we could find was through La Crosse or the Twin Cities that we could connect to and we thought that was really far away,” Penigar said.

In light of her loss Misty started looking into donating her breast milk but found out the closest milk bank was hours away. That's when she decided to start one locally with the help of Brittany.

“I thought let’s start a milk bank in Eau Claire and lets name it after Kenton so everyone will always remember him,” Penigar explained.

Over the past couple of days the two women and others have pitched in to help start a go fund me site and have plans to hold a walk in memory of Kenton to raise money for the breast milk bank.

Through the efforts, the women hope to start a breast milk bank in Eau Claire that will provide babies with the milk they need when their mom's aren’t able to produce enough.

For a mother still dealing with loss, Misty Penigar says it’s the perfect way to keep the memory of her son Kenton alive.

“Losing my baby won’t be in vain but something good will come out of it. Something good will come out of something horrible,” Penigar said.

Penigar and Marticorena say they hope to have Kenton's Place Milk Bank open by next year. In order to do that they hope to raise $75-thousand through their go fund me site and their upcoming run/walk.

You can find the Facebook event page for the run/walk and the go fund me site on the right-hand side of this screen under Related Links.