The late evening of August 30th and early morning hours of August 31, 2016 forever changed our lives, our family and our community. Devastated, lost, gasping for air and pleading for answers…this is our story. As a family of five, we lived each day with vigor, excitement and gratefulness. We were suddenly faced with saying goodbye to our precious, newest edition and only son, 22-month old Cole Douglas. With our hearts completely broken, we began asking questions. How could this have happened? We looked for answers. We had genetic testing on ourselves, our daughters, and multiple medical professional consultations. Despite zealous efforts to find some medical explanation, we were told the cause of our loss was simply unknown.

As parents, how do we drive home from the hospital and tell our daughters, Ryan (then six) and Payton (then four), that Cole is not coming home? How do we grieve? How do we find the strength and wherewithal to get out of bed, to go to work and raise our daughters as they deserved to be raised? How do we live never knowing why?Succumbing to negativity, bitterness and intense anger would most certainly be a battle we were forced to wage. It was a battle we neither asked for, nor were prepared for. Having both suffered devastatingly large losses in our respective families, how do we not continue to ask, “Why us?” How do we remain positive for our daughters and absolve the fear they now harbor? Who can answer these questions and how can they answer them?


Through the love and kindness of family, we were sent to a place where everyone understood. Everyone experienced a similar loss and pain. We no longer felt alone. Although skeptical about attending, this wasn’t a place of immense sadness. Instead, it was a place where we found relief. It was a place where we shared more smiles and memories than tears. After spending four days at this retreat, it was obvious to us and our hearts, that there was a need for this. Thus the idea of Cole’s Camp was born. Cole’s Camp is the beginning of the next chapter of our story. Cole’s Camp is a place, maybe your place, to go to be heard, understood and loved. It’s a place where grieving families can come to share their stories and heal. As a proud, family-driven nonprofit organization, we hope to help you through your difficult time.