Sen. Leticia Van De Putte raising awareness for SIDS

Van De Putte's grandson died suddenly in May

On Nov. 16, 2012, Texas Sen. Leticia Van De Putte welcomed her newest grandson, Rex Neal Van De Putte, to the world.

Six months later, the Van De Putte family buried the child after he died from Sudden Infant Death Syndrome.

"The autopsy showed there was nothing wrong. Cardiac, heart, lungs -- there wasn't any reason. He just slipped away," Van De Putte said. "It's every parent's and grandparent's nightmare when you wake up in the morning and the baby doesn't."

On Nov. 16, Van De Putte will honor her grandson by hosting the first-ever 5K Walk/Run for Rex.

Proceeds will benefit the Southwest SIDS Institute.

"Although this is about SIDS, we really want to get information to parents and to the community about crib safety and safe sleep for your infant," she said. "This is our way of making sure that baby Rex's life is remembered in a way that is positive and for other families to get that information."

Katherine Ratcliff, with Any Baby Can, said prevention information is crucial in the fight against SIDS, but she also believes the event can build support for families dealing with the tragic and unexpected loss of an infant.

"To know that there's somebody else in our community that's gone through this, that puts one foot in front of the other every single day, it gives a great awareness to the community," Ratcliff said. "She is strong and she's got a family that stands beside her and we're beside her."

The event will be held at Morgan's Wonderland on Saturday.

Registration begins at 7 a.m. and the race begins at 8 a.m.

The cost to register is $25 per person or $100 for a team of five.

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