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Parents of Baby Diagnosed with Anencephaly Celebrate His Life

Jenna Gassew and Dan HaleyEarlier this year, a Pennsylvania couple found out they were expecting. In April, Jenna Gassew and Dan Haley’s baby was diagnosed in the womb with anencephaly, a rare and terminal condition. It is estimated that one in every 4,859 babies will be born with anencephaly each year in the U.S. According to the CDC, nearly all babies born with this defect die shortly after birth.

Prayers for Shane

When Gassew and Haley were initially given the news that their baby would be born with anencephaly, they decided to create a bucket list for him to visit all the places they enjoyed going as kids that he would never get to experience.

The couple started a Facebook prayer page, Prayers for Shane, before his birth to celebrate his life, attracting a half a million supporters along the way. On the day he was born, a Facebook post on the page read:

“Shane spent his entire life in the arms of people that loved him unconditionally and I don’t think you could ask for a more beautiful life [than] that…”

Bucket List Baby

Gassew and Haley traveled all summer to baseball games, concerts and the beach, all while documenting Shane’s travels on social media using the hashtag #shanesbucketlist. They even made a special trip to the famous Geno’s Steaks, where they had the opportunity to eat at the restaurant’s only inside table with owner Geno Vento.

The couple received an outpouring of support through the Facebook page from family, friends, and strangers all posting words of encouragement. Days before Shane’s birth, Gassew and Haley posted:

“We are so grateful for the many amazing messages, personal stories and posts we receive daily and we really appreciate all of your support! …he will be here in less than a week and we couldn’t be more excited to hold little Shane in our arms!”

Shane was born on Oct. 9th, 2014. He passed away less than four hours later.

Find Caring Support

Prayers for ShaneAnencephaly develops during the first month of pregnancy and is attributed to a combination of genetic and environmental factors. However, studies have also shown that taking certain prescription medication during pregnancy has been linked to this condition and other birth defects.

If you took medication while pregnant and your baby was diagnosed with anencephaly or another birth defect, you may be eligible for compensation.

It is a condition that no parents should have to face. We may be able to to help you seek justice. Contact us today for a free case evaluation.


image credit: Prayers for Shane


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