Cuddle Cots to Honor Angel Babies

UPDATE 11/6/18:

Today is an exciting day for our CuddleCot campaign for two reasons. The first is that we surpassed our goal of raising $10,000 to place four machines in Ohio hospitals. That's an incredible number and we couldn't be more thankful for all of the support. While we plan on keeping the fundraiser running for a few more weeks, any additional donations beyond the $10,000 total will be put towards the purchase of a fifth CuddleCot. 

The second, and even more exciting reason is that we're able to announce the fourth family that will have a CuddleCot donated in their angel baby's name. That family is the Waddle family of Marietta, OH. Andy and Kerry Jean were preparing for the birth of their first born child, a baby girl named Arlee Grace. At 37 weeks, the doctors told them "Congratulations, you're going to become parents today". Minutes later, Arlee Grace lost her heartbeat. The Waddles were only able to spend a few hours with their daughter because their hospital wasn't equipped with a CuddleCot. Kerry Jean said, "We wish we could have spent more time holding and loving on her. Those first few hours were too traumatizing to even know what was going on. We were still in shock during that small amount of time spent with our sweet angel."

We're honored to be placing the fourth CuddleCot in memory of Arlee Grace and are grateful that the Waddle family will be joining us through this campaign!


UPDATE 10/25/18:

Because of the amazing love and support from our family and friends, as well as a partnership with the non-profit organization Ashlie's Embrace, we've been able to expand our fundraiser to include an additional family. That family is the Frisch family from Port Clinton, Ohio. Tiffany and Trent Frisch gained their angel baby, Dawson Phillip Frisch, on August 12th, 2015. Dawson, who had the same button nose and blonde hair that his mother has, was delivered at 38.5 weeks and weighed 9 lbs 10 ounces. Just like Ryleigh, Dawson was born at Firelands Regional Medical Center in Sandusky, Ohio, and at the time Firelands did not have a CuddleCot. As a result, the Frisch family was only able to spend a few hours with Dawson before they had to say their goodbyes. 

We're grateful that Tiffany, Trent, their son Austin, and their entire family have joined us in our mission to place CuddleCots in as many hospitals as possible in honor of our angel babies!

Hi, friends! Thank you for visiting our GoFundMe page. My name is Paul Stelzer. My wife Alex and I have joined forces with Kim and Durrell Binford to raise money for a very important cause to both of our families.

Our families are quite similar. Alex and Kim are friends from high school. We have happy, healthy, beautiful 3-year-old children (Oliver and Kennedy). And within the last 12 months, we both received the most devastating news for any parent: your unborn baby’s heart is no longer beating.

Stillbirth is far more common than most of us realize. Nearly 26,000 babies are stillborn in the U.S. every year, and just as the pregnancies were for both Alex and Kim, many are perfectly healthy pregnancies all the way up until the end. It’s not something that’s talked about often because there’s no easy way to discuss the loss of a child. The hurt, pain and sorrow are hard to comprehend unless you’ve experienced it yourself. As parents, we battle with this every day, and it will be there for the rest of our lives.

Ryleigh Renee Binford was born at 37 weeks on November 19, 2017 at Firelands Regional Medical Center in Sandusky, Ohio. She had the most beautiful complexion and a perfect button nose just like her big sister, Kennedy. Her family held her and kissed her, and hours later had to say goodbye.

Noah Paul Stelzer was born at 34 weeks on February 2, 2018 at Dublin Methodist Hospital in Dublin, Ohio. Like Ryleigh, Noah shared similar traits to his big brother, Oliver, such as his eyes, mouth, and long fingers and toes. Because of a machine called a CuddleCot that the hospital had on site, our family was able to spend a few extra days with Noah before we too had to say goodbye to our child.

Many of you, like me prior to Noah’s birth, have probably never heard of a CuddleCot. The machine is a cooling pad that brings a baby’s body temperature down, allowing them to stay in the warm hospital room much longer than they would be able to without it. This gives the family something that they need more than anything,time. The time to hold their child, take lasting pictures, introduce him/her to their siblings and extended family, kiss them and love them. It allows families the time to form a special bond with their child, the only memories they will have, that will ultimately help in the grieving process. Here is a video that shows the impact that a CuddleCot can have on a family who is grieving this kind of loss:

In the months that followed our short time with Noah, I’ve struggled with how to best create a lasting memory of our son, whom the world never got to meet. I quickly found out that the CuddleCot that was offered to extend our time with Noah isn’t available at every hospital. In fact, it’s not available at most hospitals in Ohio. After speaking with Kim and Durrell, I learned that Firelands Regional Medical Center didn’t have one available at the time to extend the time they were able to spend with Ryleigh. Their family not being given that option breaks my heart.

Nearly 1 in 160 pregnancies end in stillbirth. While doctors and researchers work to lower those numbers, our hope with this fundraiser is to place as many CuddleCots in Ohio hospitals as we possibly can and give grieving families the precious gift of time in honor of our angel babies, Ryleigh and Noah. We hope you will join us in our mission, and we thank you for your continued thoughts, prayers, love and donations.

With Love,
Alex, Paul, Oliver & Noah Stelzer
Kim, Durrell, Kennedy & Ryleigh Binford
  • Karen Barber 
    • $50 
    • 35 mos
  • Joyce Peterson 
    • $25 
    • 35 mos
  • Anonymous 
    • $25 
    • 35 mos
  • Deborah Shockey 
    • $10 
    • 35 mos
  • Adam Gehman  
    • $250 
    • 35 mos
See all


Paul Stelzer 
Delaware, OH
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