Mothers team up to break stigma about stillborn deaths to fund research

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NEW YORK — It impacts all races and crosses all socioeconomic lines.

Though recent reports say black women are twice as likely to have a stillbirth than women of other races, it is not a subject many want to talk about.  It is deeply personal and it is heartbreaking.

But Samantha Banerjee and Hilary Hughes are just some of the New York women breaking their silence about stillbirths.

It is estimated 26,000 babies are stillborn a year, or 70 a day.

These statistics are not from a third-world country but from right here in the United States.

What's even more startling is the numbers have not declined, but instead have climbed.

Women like Banerjee and Hughes are now fighting to break the uncomfortable stigma surrounding this very personal issue and pushing for more funding for research.

"We just couldn't wait for our lives with her to begin," said Banerjee. "To walk in there and be told that she was dead for no reason and no one could give us any explanation as to why or how; it was just absolutely heartbreaking."

Hughes teamed up with an organization known as Star Legacy and is now chairperson of the New York chapter.  She began Oliver's 5K, in honor of her firstborn son, who died just weeks from his delivery date.

In an effort to continue to raise awareness, keep the conversation going, save babies and raise funds for research, please visit letsnotbestill5k.org.

The group will host a 5K on April 17 in Port Washington, Long Island and on April 30 in South Salem.  All funds raised will be donated to Star Legacy Foundation.