BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - Old wedding dresses, premature babies and a leap of faith. That’s the foundation of Layah’s Ministry for Memory Gowns founded by Mika Wall.
In June of 2008 Mika’s daughter, Layah, passed away. She was 6 days old, 17 weeks premature, weighing only 1 pound 4 ounces. They were given a tiny pink gown for her burial. It became a precious memory in the midst of heartbreak.
Now Mika is working to do the same for other families facing such loss. Using material from old donated wedding dresses she makes what she calls memory gowns. They symbolize the hopes and dreams for a child who never had a chance for a complete life.
“I realized how important the symbolism of the wedding dress was itself and the white itself. These children have not had the chance to live and know a full life,” says Mika.
She started the non-profit, “Layah’s Ministry for Memory Gowns” four years ago. Since then she and volunteers have provided more than 400 of these unique, hand-made gowns to hospitals such as UAB and St. Vincent’s. “Every one of these gowns is prayed over before we send them out, just to let them know this is a gift of hope. It’s not just something we have sewn out of material but sewn with all of our heart put into it.”
Layah’s short precious life has now given her mother a mission with a touch of lace. She says, “When people ask what am I here for, what is my purpose, what is my passion? Through her life I was able to find mine.”
If you would like to donate a wedding dress or volunteer to help make the gowns click here to check out Layah’s Ministry Facebook page.
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