About the Taylor McKeen Shelton Foundation
The Taylor McKeen Shelton Foundation was established in loving memory of Taylor with a goal of increasing awareness of, and research into the cause of Sudden Unexpected Death in Childhood incidents by supporting the SUDC Program via financial contributions. In addition to supporting the SUDC Program, goals of the Taylor McKeen Shelton Foundation include supporting families who are living through similar tragedies and helping to provide healthy, physical activities for children in the NW Arkansas region.
The most common response people have when learning of Taylor’s passing and that he was 14 months old is, “He was too old for it to be SIDS.” What we learned is after the age of one, SIDS cases become known as SUDC, Sudden Unexplained Death in Childhood.
Sudden Unexplained Death in Childhood (SUDC) is… the sudden and unexpected death of a child over the age of twelve months, which remains unexplained after a thorough case investigation is conducted.
About the Sudden Unexplained Death in Childhood Program
In 1999, a small group of parents affected by unexplained toddler death attended a presentation at the SIDS Alliance national convention in Atlanta, GA. The presentation by Dr. Henry Krous was entitled “Post-Infancy SIDS- Is it on the rise?” Following the presentation, Dr. Krous agreed to review the childrens’ records of those families present to learn more about them. Over the following two years, more families who had experienced an unexplained childhood death were discovered and the beginning of the San Diego SUDC Research Project began.
Laura Crandall, a Neurological Physical Therapist by training, and Chelsea Hilbert, an ER Social Worker by training, brainstormed together to create the mission of The Sudden Unexplained Death In Childhood Program. A proposal was submitted to the CJ Foundation for SIDS to support this new program and it was granted. The CJ Foundation for SIDS is a U.S. national non-profit 501c-3 health organization meeting the needs of the SIDS community through funding SIDS research, support services and awareness programs.
In the fall of 2001, as part of the CJ Foundation, The SUDC program was created to be a centralized resource for Sudden Unexplained Death in Childhood providing information, support, advocacy and research. Each year, the SUDC Program provides more support services to more and more families. The program is entirely run by private donations to the CJ Foundation that are designated to SUDC.
Here is a link to the Sudden Unexplained Death in Childhood Project website: http://sudc.org