MAW’s Cause Foundation was started in 2017 in Knoxville, TN as a program to raise awareness, educate and provide research funding for SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome) and SUDC (Sudden Unexplained Death of a Child). Currently, Knoxville does not have any organizations focused on these efforts, MAW’s Cause being a first of its kind.
MAW’s Cause was founded by Brittanie and Ben Weaver after the death of their 4 month old son, Mason Archer Weaver, in May 2017. Mason was at daycare, when down for a nap and never woke up. It is a tragic death that over 3000 infants face each year and over 400 children under the age of 2. The prime age for SIDS is between 2-4 months, but in can occur all the way up until 1 year of age.
SIDS has been around for over 40 years, once known as crib death. Original beliefs were that SIDS was caused from unsafe sleep habits/suffocation due to babies sleeping on their stomachs. In the 1980’s the Back To Sleep campaign launched nationally to help educate parents on safe sleep practices. SIDS incidences decreased by 50% over the next decade, but have been on the rise again as of the last couple of years.
Safe sleep practices definitely reduce the risk of SIDS, but recent medical findings have uncovered various other factors that could be contributors.
The main medical theory is called the “Triple Threat” theory were the baby has an external stressor (unsafe sleep), underlying medical issue and predisposed issue (low birth weight, exposure to smoke, etc). Two main research programs are investigating SIDS in the US, the Mayo Clinic and Boston Children’s Hospital. It is a very slow process, but progress is being made not only in what causes SIDS, but also research on advancing testing for newborns to determine risk.
MAW’s Cause is devoted to being a resource in the Knoxville community and beyond for awareness and education of SIDS and SUDC.
It can happen to anyone! In addition, MAW’s Cause raises funds for further research through the above mentioned programs. Partnerships include Safe Sleep Tennessee and various community entities. Fundraisers currently include the following, but we are looking to continue to expand our efforts throughout the year as the foundation grows. If you have any suggestions or ideas, please let us know!