Toybox in Memory of Lost Daughter Offers Help to Other Parents 

No parent who’s ever lost a child can forget it. But a mother in Hampden is trying to ease the pain of her daughter’s death -with the help of a toybox.For Erin Guimond, these drawers hold more than just toys and baby clothes – they also hold a key to healing her heart. Katelyn’s Toy Box is in memory of Guimond’s daughter, born last year – 14 weeks early. “she fought through the night and the next morning they just said she’s just too little. her lungs weren’t developed, her kidneys weren’t developed, she was just small … and she lived for 18 hours.”Guimond delivered Katelyn after a severe case of pre-eclampsia – something she, her husband and their son Jack were completely unprepared for.”we came in here not having a camera, not having anything to write down anything that was going on. we didn’t have anything and so i justed wanted to make sure that didn’t happen to somebody else”And Katelyn’s toy box was born. “walking into the mall and seeing baby clothes just tugged at my heart. but I thought if I could walking into the mall and think who else could use the baby clothes and get them for somebody else, that would help my heart heal… maybe just a little bit of that hole that was in there.”Guimond started collecting clothes, journals and toys for siblings to build Katelyn’s toy box, She delivered it to the NICU at Eastern Maine Medical Center in July, on her daughter’s first birthday. “it made me feel like I was doing something to honor Katelyn’s memory. and when I came up here shortly after I started the toy box, I walked into the rooms and saw some of Katelyn’s things in the room and it just warmed my heart and made me feel like she’s helping people. even though she’s not here, she’s helping people and that’s all i wanted to do.”Guimond hopes one day she’ll fill these drawers with gift certificates for preemie car seats, formula or other items. And though that may take time, she already knows this toybox is turning lives around. “I think we’ve helped a lot of families and a lot of babies and I think Katelyn would like that.”Bangor Savings Bank has set up a fund for donations to Katelyn’s Toy Box.You can also send checks to P.O. Box 14 in Hampden. The zip code is 04444.And if you have questions, e-mail [email protected]