2nd Annual Layton's Legacy Fundraiser & Card Drive

October 15, 2019

Hi there friends, and welcome to the 2nd annual Layton's Legacy Card Drive & Fundraiser for NICU Parents. I plan this event each year in honor, and in memory of my son, Layton Caleb Lawson.

Layton was born 11 weeks early on June 9, 2016, weighing in at almost 3 pounds with two critical medical conditions. He had a heart condition called Double Outlet Right Ventricle with Ventricular Septal Defect (aka: DORV w/VSD), and he had a stomach condition called an omphalacele. Because of his premature birth and those two complications, he also struggled with very bad lungs. Layton's life in the NICU wasn't easy, but he fought for every moment of it. He touched more people in his 5 months on this earth than most do in a lifetime, and on November 17, 2016, he made his way to Heaven to be with his big sister, Ellie.

My husband and I have been dealt a very hard hand, and every single day we miss those beautiful babies more than we can put into words. But I can't think of a better way to honor their memory than to give to those who find themselves in a similar situation to us. The medical diagnosis and prognosis may be different but one thing will always be the same...being the parent to a critically ill baby in the NICU is hard.

Before I get to all the fundraising info, I wanted to let you know that this month was deemed Pregnancy & Infant Loss Awareness month on October 15, 1988 by President Reagan. Did you know that 1 in 4 are affected by infertility, pregnancy & infant loss? That is 25% of our population, which is a staggering statistic. And while this type of loss is so common, talking and sharing about it has been stigmatized & shamed for many years. We are finally becoming more sensitive as a society, but there is always more work to be done. We are conditioned to believe that death happens at the end of a complete and full life, and it is uncomfortable when we are taken out of that mindset. But the truth is that sometimes lives are taken before they even have a chance to begin. Some lives are taken at the very beginning, and others are taken far too soon. But that doesn't mean they weren't as loved and as wanted as a life that continues, and it is important that we allow parents to talk about their children, and grieve their little ones in any way they need to.

This looks different for anyone grieving the loss of a pregnancy, infant or child. October 15th is known in the loss community as the Wave of Light. Some draw comfort from lighting a candle in honor of their lost child, and sharing on social media. I find more comfort in doing good in honor of my babies, and thus, Layton's Legacy was born.

Each year I have a set goal of raising $2500. This allows me to purchase (50) $50 Starbucks gift cards, which equates to one gift card for every bed in the Level 4 NICU at University of Minnesota Masonic Children's Hospital, where Layton lived his entire life. Fundraising efforts will run from today through November 10th. This will give me enough time to withdraw the funds, make necessary purchases and bring them to the hospital the week of November 17th. This year I have set up a GoFundMe page, as YouCaring was taken over by them right after my fundraiser last year. There are many ways you can help, and here is how: 

1. DONATE - directly to Layton’s Legacy GoFundMe Fundraising Page.

2. SHARE - not everyone is able to financially donate, but sharing on your social media outlets is welcomed & helpful!

3. CREATE - this year’s card drive theme is “Sensitive Sympathy” geared towards parents who have lost a pregnancy due to miscarriage or stillbirth, infant or child. You can get all the card drive info HERE.

This fundraising & card drive effort wouldn't be possible without some amazing companies who have supported me, lifted me up and chosen to honor & remember my little ones right alongside me. You will see these company owners, design team coordinators & members, and my closest crafting friends sharing about Layton's Legacy all over social media & on their blogs. They are also offering up some fantastic prizes to help make this fundraising & card drive effort FUN!

This year prizes will be drawn randomly from all donation & cards linked to the card drive. You get one entry per item, and winners will be posted on the Layton's Legacy Prize page during the week of November 17th. (Please note that it might be later in the week, as this is the anniversary of Layton's passing, and it isn't the easiest week for me. I will need you to extend me some grace.)

Finally, I wanted to share something that is basically my heart in photopolymer. I came to Kinnari, the owner of Pinkfresh Studio, earlier this summer and asked if she would be willing to manufacture & sell a stamp & die set for Layton's Legacy. She gave me a resounding yes, and we got to work on this special stamp set called "Forever in our Hearts". This stamp set is a beautiful collaboration of my thoughts, my heart & sentiments, with the butterfly being brought to life by our graphic designer/illustrator Inna Moreva, and the sentiments coming to life by Kinnari Zaveri.

This stamp set is full of sensitive sympathy sentiments, with some being geared specifically towards pregnancy & infant loss. But we were sure to add enough sentiments that can be used for any type of loss, giving you some really honest & loving ways to send your condolences and sympathies.

I chose a butterfly for this stamp set, because this is what they use in hospitals to signify there has been a loss of a baby. They put up a butterfly on the number plate to your door, so that all staff members know to only go into the room if they absolutely have to, and to be quiet & quick if they must. Apart from that, when you think about a butterfly and its life cycle...it also just seems fitting.

I've created a video today for Layton's Legacy & for this card set, and I would love for you to watch it below or HERE in HD.

I have created a set of cards with this stamp set today, and I am so excited to share them with you. I left them relatively simple, so the butterfly & the sentiments could take center stage.

This first card was created by ink blending with some of the softest shades from our brand new premium dye ink release. I've used my favorite cloud stencils from Taylored Expressions to create the background. Isn't it a nice thing to think that lost little ones are just above a set of rainbow clouds?
1. Ink blend the clouds to heavyweight white cardstock.
2. Stamp the sentiment to the bottom in onyx black Versafine.
3. Diecut the panel with the largest Diagonal Stitched Rectangle, then adhere to an A2 card base with foam adhesive.
4. Stamp & heat emboss the buttefly in Gilded embossing powder to vellum, then diecut.
5. Adhere the butterfly to the front of the card.
6. Accent the card with the Essentials: Jewels Mix in light pink, gold & white.

For this card, I used my FAVORITE paper from the Just A Little Lovely 6x6 paper pad. I've used the inlaid diecut technique for the butterfly on this card.
1. Diecut a patterned paper panel with the largest Stitched Rectangle.
2. Diecut the butterfly from the left side, then stamp the sentiment to the lower right corner.
3. Mount the entire panel to the front of an A2 card base.
4. Stamp & heat emboss the buttefly in Gilded embossing powder to vellum, then diecut.
5. Adhered the butterfly inside the negative space on the card front.
6. Accent the card with the Essentials: Jewels Mix in light pink, gold & white.

I couldn't bare to waste the beautiful butterfly that was cut from the patterned paper above, so I used it to make this very quick & simple card.
1. Round the opposite corners of an A2 card base, then stamp the sentiment to the upper left corner.
2. Flick gold splatters to the front.
3.Stamp & heat emboss the butterfly in Gilded to the patterned paper diecut.
4. Adhere the butterfly to the card front.
5. Accent the card with the Essentials: Jewels Mix in light pink, gold & white.

I hope that you like my card set for today, and the heartfelt meaning behind them. As always, leave a comment if you have any questions about them. I will be sure to answer them.

Be sure to check out the Pinkfresh Studio blog post today, as many of my friends (some who are our team members and some who are guests) have also created cards with this special stamp set, and they are all gorgeous! You will definitely want to see them.

There are many different ways that you can follow along with Layton's Legacy. You will get most of the info from here on my blog. But I will be sharing on all 3 of my social media accounts as well, and you can follow me on those below.

Thank you SO much for reading this post, and for being part of the 2nd Annual Layton's Legacy. I appreciate it more than I can say. With your help, we can make this fundraising effort & card drive another success!

For your shopping convenience, all products are linked below, including affiliate linking when possible - this allows small compensation for me at no cost to you. I typically link to 2-3 sites, in hopes that your preferred retailer will be among them. I only support legitimate retail sites, that are true partners to stamp, die and scrapbooking wholesalers.


  1. What an amazing way to keep the memory of your son alive. I recently had a pregnancy loss and didn't know how many people go through this every year. I am now learning about the Pregnancy & Infant Loss awareness month. I feel comforted hearing about other people that have been through the same thing and are somewhat ok. Some days it's easier than others. It brings me comfort knowing that there are other people going through the same thing as I and are holding on. Thank you for this.

    1. Lisa - I am so sorry to hear about your loss. While everyone's loss is different, I do understand how hard it is to lose something that you wanted so badly. I wishing you peace, and love, and comfort as you continue to process through your grief. Sending hugs to you.

  2. Beautiful Lea. Thank you for sharing your story. Being that caring hug these families need during this time from someone that has traveled thru this before them helps them know they aren’t alone.

  3. I can't imagine what you must have gone through!! So sorry for your loss Lea! This is a great way to honor his memory and provide comfort to all those who are in need of strength and support!

  4. I'm so sorry for your loss. I can't imagine what you and your family have endured. I have lost 6 angels during pregnancy (miscarriage). I love how you have chosen to honor your son and I can't wait to create and donate in his honor, as well as my little angels.

    1. Thank you, Wendy. I am so sorry for all of your losses. That is SO hard, and I'm so sorry you went through that. Sending hugs.

  5. Thank you so much for sharing your story Lea, so heartbreaking and one I can never ever imagine. Your stamp and sentiment set are just perfect as are all your cards. Hugs Aileen

  6. Hello Lea! You have done an outstanding job with the beautiful stamp set and coordinating die! I just ordered my stamp set and I can't wait to get it to use that gorgeous butterfly! I am going to make a card with the butterfly for the Turner Syndrome Awareness Blog Hop! It is perfect for so many different cards! You are an incredible person to do this for all the families who are going through this! I will make some cards and send them to you because I think this is a wonderful thing you are doing for these parents! God Bless YOU!!

  7. Out of unspeakable pain and heartbreak, beauty continues to unfold.
    Thank you, Lea, for sharing Layton's story and the path you travel.
    The sympathy stamp set is gorgeous and has the most beautiful sentiments I have ever seen...both the words and the lovely fonts. A wonderful tribute to Layton and to all the precious lives that ended too soon. Hugs and blessings to you, Lea.
    <3 J

    jwoolbright at gmail dot com

  8. This is just so uplifting. Thank you for doing this. Once cards are completed where should they be sent to?

    1. Hi Karen! You can email me (lea@lealawsoncreates.com) and I will get my address to you. Thank you!!

  9. Such a needed stamp set Lea! filled with Perfectly true sentiments. Thank you for your efforts to remember those precious little ones gone from us too soon.

  10. I loved seeing you in this video Lea. You are a beautiful person inside and out and Ellie and Layton were so so lucky to have you as their mum. I have purchased the stamp set and die and hope to make some cards to send to you.
    I was in hospital with my son last year for almost 3 weeks (he has cystic fibrosis) and visited the Starbucks there every day so what you're doing with Layton's Legacy is so wonderful.


Comments warm my heart. Thank you! ♥