May 16 will be a very special day for 2 reasons: 1) My daughter Vienna Carly Savino, 2) My sister Carol Wunderler Strohe.
Carol died on 11-30-19 at age 54 after a warrior-like battle for almost 3 years against stage IV urothelial carcinoma. She fought and persevered, despite all odds against her. Even in her final days, she NEVER gave up. During her last week on earth, when she had the strength, she would go for a walk and do leg lifts while sitting in her chair. Carol traveled from Bethlehem, PA, and spent a MAGICAL weekend at Mary’s Place in the spring of 2019, due to a cancellation at the last minute. She was originally scheduled for 2020, however she would have never made it. When I met her for dinner on that Saturday night, she couldn’t say enough positive accolades about the people, the services, the house, the food, the conversation, everything. She had instant bonds with the women she met. I was so impressed with everything she told me, and extremely thankful she was able to have this incredible experience.
My healthy daughter Vienna was only 2.8 years old when she fell asleep while watching TV on 11-12-17 in Holmdel, NJ, and tragically never woke up. Her death was categorized as Sudden Unexplained Death in Childhood (SUDC). Despite both my husband and I being physicians, we never heard of SUDC until it happened to us. (This is not SIDS). SUDC is a category of death in kids, 1-18 years old, that remains unexplained after a thorough investigation, including an autopsy. Even Vienna’s genetic studies did not reveal a cause. SUDC is one of the most under-recognized medical tragedies of our time, and shockingly, is scarcely known in the medical community. We want to change that. Team Vienna 4 SUDC Awareness Inc. (501c3 nonprofit, based in Red Bank/Holmdel, NJ), is our family's nonprofit to educate/raise awareness for SUDC world-wide and to support SUDC research, while honoring our darling daughter Vienna, ultimately preventing this tragedy from happening to future families. My sister was a huge supporter of Team Vienna and attended as many events she could, in addition to being the lead speaker in a 1 minute video that was shown at SXSW Film Festival in Austin in 2019.
TEAM VIENNA 4 SUDC AWARENESS VIDEO March 2019
Coincidentally, May 16 is Mary’s Place walk/run, but also our 3rd Annual Vienna’s Day of International SUDC Awareness, to increase global awareness of SUDC. In 2019, Team Vienna was represented on all 7 continents, and over 70 locations world-wide, on the same day! We are hoping that representation grows even more this year, so others will not only learn of Vienna’s story and SUDC, but will also learn about the amazing experience at Mary’s Place. Please see TeamViennaSUDC.org for more details.
SUDC TED-STYLE TALK-Dr. Wunderler Performs/Lectures About Her Late Daughter Vienna,SUDC in Baltimore
There are indigo blue Team Vienna shirts available, in addition to maroon shirts (for a limited time- check Denise Wunderler on facebook, #teamvienna4sudcawareness on IG) which is a memorial shirt for both Carol and Vienna. These can be ordered at hightopdesigns.com/team-vienna. Thank you so much for joining Team Vienna!