Within minutes of meeting Valentin and Valerie, you wanted to be in their lives. It is no surprise that in a relatively short time after arriving to the U.S. from Austria, they built a community of people who ALL feel fortunate that their lives have been forever touched by theirs. We hope that you will take some time to read their story.About What Happened
After a mellow pregnancy, in the wee hours of November 4, 2018, new parents Valerie and Valentin welcomed their first baby, Lisbeth Hazel. During and after her labor, Valerie experienced complications and underwent surgery. Despite being in recovery from delivery and surgery, Valerie was able to spend a joyful day bonding with Lisbeth. However, tragically and unexpectedly, Valerie passed away in the early morning of November 6, 2018, due to the complications from the birth. We are all heartbroken by this unimaginable loss. Yet, in the face of devastating grief, it is profoundly moving to witness Valentin embracing fatherhood with enthusiasm, thoughtful care, & authenticity. Valentin and Lisbeth make a great team, and they are so deserving of your support. How Your Donation Will Help
Valentin, Valerie, and Lisbeth have contributed so much to the lives around them, which you can read more about below. We invite you to reciprocate their generosity and kindness. Your help will ensure that this new baby and her dad, a medical researcher on a limited income in San Francisco, can sustain all necessary care and pave a path to healing in the wake of their traumatic loss. Your donations will specifically lessen the family’s burden of funeral costs, help subsidize childcare services and living expenses in a costly city, support them in staying well-fed, well-supplied, and with plentiful funds to travel when needed, whether it’s to visit loved ones in Austria, take a necessary retreat to grieve, or for a new adventure. Your contributions are received with tremendous gratitude.More About This Lovely Family
Valerie was a beautiful, brilliant, witty woman. She was steady and moved with intention quietly, never loud. Her words were well-chosen, deliberate, and firm, yet gentle. She had the patience of a saint. She listened to people when they spoke, remembered what they said, and always asked follow-up questions the next time she saw them. She was inquisitive and took in the world around her with genuine curiosity. She made a memorable, sweet sound in between a subtle smirk on the way to a smile or laugh. Even Valentin will admit, she was funnier than him. Her sense of humor was dry and beloved. She tolerated her husband’s jokes to a degree, but always gave them the hefty eye roll that they deserved. She loved to cook, go to the farmer’s markets, spend time with friends, gather flowers (ranunculus were her favorite), travel whenever she could, and practice yoga regularly. She filled our bellies with the BEST noodle and potato salads on the planet, and insisted that we put pumpkin seed oil on ice cream: trust us, it’s delicious! She was endlessly caring, a mother to us and our animals well before she became a mother to sweet baby Lisbeth. Like Valentin, Valerie grew up in Austria and received a law degree from the University of Vienna, which she used to passionately support those affected by injustice and trauma. She also provided German translation services while in the U.S. The world lost a truly beautiful soul, and we miss her immensely.
Baby Lisbeth is a healthy eater and sleeper. She loves to pee, poop, smile, give side-eye, and only really raises hell when she’s hungry or getting her diaper changed. She shares her name with Valentin’s paternal grandmother and her middle name, Hazel, honors a little San Franciscan whom Valerie and Valentin grew to love. She is a noticeably calm, pleasant, and peaceful baby—she’s like her mother. We are reassured to notice the myriad of ways that Valerie lives on through this new, beating heart. Lisbeth’s healthy arrival is a BLESSING, a fierce ray of LIGHT and HOPE amid unthinkable despair.
Valentin is earnest, wickedly smart, selfless, and thoughtful. He looks you in the eye when he’s talking to you. He is a tinkerer and will try to fix just about anything on his own. He loves Captain America, the movie Space Jam, and The Pizza Place in the Sunset neighborhood of San Francisco. He is a karaoke, stand-up comedy, and poetry king. Valentin studied medicine in Austria, and is currently researching skin cancer cells at UCSF’s Ortiz Lab. Despite working on a limited income, his research has the potential to save lives. He would never say that about himself, of course. Valentin’s humility is yet another reason that this family deserves your generous support.Who We Are
We are a group of friends, neighbors, family, co-workers from UCSF, Google, and Vaco, and communities from around the globe writing to you on behalf of a family we deeply love. We invite you to share this widely, and we hope that you’ll contribute.