Every year since 2010, Wren’s family, along with others in their community, celebrate the life of the playful, loving, happy little girl they once knew. “She loved to be outside and go for walks,” says Erica Sinclair. “That’s one of the reasons we hold a walk in her memory.”
Erica’s daughter, Wren, passed away in 2009. When she was 2 years old, Wren sustained a severe head injury at a day care near their home in western Wisconsin. She was airlifted to the Level I Pediatric Trauma Center operated by Regions Hospital and Gillette Children’s Specialty Healthcare, but Wren’s family was told that she wouldn’t survive her injuries. “You can’t imagine how horrible it is to have your child fighting for her life,” says Erica, “but everyone at Gillette was very kind.” Wren passed away a few days later with her family by her side.
Although Wren has been gone for six years, her family says they’re still thankful for Gillette’s kindness and efforts to save her life. “The doctors and nurses at Gillette had hearts of gold,” recalls Erica. To honor Wren and show their appreciation for Gillette, the family hosts an annual 5K run/walk. “We think about Wren's Memorial Run/Walk as a holiday,” explains Matt Sprague, Wren’s father. “We start planning in the spring, and for us, it feels like we are planning a huge celebration in memory of Wren.”
They donate part of the proceeds to Gillette’s Pediatric Intensive Care Unit and use some of the proceeds to fund a scholarship for a high school student going into the medical field. “People always ask us why we don’t give the money to a ‘local’ hospital,” says Matt. “When your child has a serious injury, Gillette is the best ‘local’ hospital. Gillette doesn’t just serve St. Paul, it serves our entire region.”
Now in its fifth year, the Wren Sprague Memorial Run/Walk is proud to have donated $32,000 to Gillette’s Pediatric Intensive Care Unit. Wren’s family recently returned to Gillette to present a $9,000 check from the 2015 run/walk, bringing that total up to $41,000 (pictured right). “To us, the annual donation represents our love for Wren,” explains Erica. “It’s a way for us to reach out to families in similar situations. Our hope is that we help children recover and return home with their families.”
Wren’s family says they want to keep her run/walk going and hope it will become bigger and more successful each year. “Six years later, people still talk about Wren,” says Erica. “We don't want that to stop. We want people to remember Wren.”
For more information, visit the Wren Sprague Memorial & Scholarship Fund.