KEEP IN TOUCH

JOIN OUR MAILING LIST AND RECEIVE INFORMATION ABOUT UPCOMING EVENTS AND RESOURCES TO HELP THE HEALING PROCESS.

CONNECT
  • White Facebook Icon
  • White LinkedIn Icon

POCKETS OF LIGHT  |  MONTCLAIR, NJ

FOUNDERS & FACILITATORS

Founders

JENNIFER BROWN

Jennifer is a co-founder and Vice-President of Pockets of Light. 

 

After completing her BA in psychology from the State University of New York at the University of Buffalo, Jennifer continued her education at Long Island University, CW Post earning an MA in school counseling. During her work as a high school guidance counselor at the Solomon Schechter Hebrew Day School in New York, Jennifer focused on individual and group counseling for her students.

 

Jennifer and her husband have three children; their second daughter Zoe having died three days after birth in 2010 from a genetic disorder called Polycystic Kidney Disease.  After their loss, Jennifer and her husband organized a fundraiser to raise money for the NICU at the hospital that took care of their daughter. They also created a team where they walk every year to raise money to fight PKD.

 

Jennifer recently completed the Stillbirthday Birth and Bereavement Doula Certification program which prepares her to provide support to families experiencing any birth outcome during any trimester.  Jennifer completed perinatal bereavement training and currently facilitates support groups for Pockets of Light. 

DENISE CANTE

Denise Cante is a co-founder and President of the Board of Pockets of Light. 

 

Prior to co-founding Pockets of Light, Denise spent over a decade working in senior roles at Boys & Girls Clubs – a non-profit serving at-risk youth – in both New York and San Francisco. She most recently held the position of Vice President, Capital Campaign, in San Francisco, where she was responsible for the fundraising and marketing of a successful multi-million-dollar campaign.  She previously developed strategic marketing and communications platforms that raised awareness and increased funding of the organization through partnerships, publications, web development, and other new and traditional media.

 

Before moving into the non-profit sector, Denise spent 5 years at DeVries Global, a corporate marketing and PR firm, developing and executing plans to shape the brands of Fortune 500 companies including Procter & Gamble, Amazon.com, and 3M. She began her career working in media relations at American University.

 

Denise and her husband suffered from recurrent pregnancy loss and have endured seven miscarriages. Denise is personally devoted to bringing her passion and professional experience
in the non-profit setting to helping others through Pockets of Light. She completed perinatal bereavement training and currently facilitates support groups for Pockets of Light. 

 

Denise lives in Montclair, NJ with her husband Jason, son Paolo, and daughter Sylvie. 

ERIN TRUXILLO

Erin is a co-founder and the Executive Director of Pockets of Light. 

 

After graduating with a marketing degree from James Madison University and working as a marketing coordinator for a couple of years, Erin decided to pursue her teaching degree and completed a secondary education program at George Mason University. She taught mathematics at the middle and high school level in Fairfax, VA and Charlotte, NC.

 

In 2008, Erin’s first child Hailey was stillborn a month shy of her due date. At the time, Erin and her husband were living in Charlotte, NC, and became involved with a non-profit called KinderMourn that offered support to grieving parents. Through participation in KinderMourn’s support group as well as speaking at grief workshops and the annual holiday memorial service, Erin’s interest in helping those who had lost a baby continued to grow.

 

After relocating to Montclair, NJ a few years ago, in an effort to continue to help bereaved parents, Erin became a community volunteer with Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep. After some research, she came to the realization that there was very little consistent support in the area for those who had lost a baby and became determined to change that.

 

Since the loss of Hailey, Erin and Tom were fortunate enough to bring home two healthy children. Sadly, in 2015, they experienced a miscarriage at 10 weeks. 

 

Erin completed perinatal bereavement training and currently facilitates support groups for Pockets of Light. 

Additional Facilitators

MICHAEL CAMPION

Mike Campion is a facilitator for our Stillbirth and Early Infant Loss support groups.

 

Mike and his wife Jen were faced with the challenge of infertility and suffered through a miscarriage before conceiving twin sons through IVF.  Their boys, Nathan and Matthew, were born at the end of their second trimester and tragically did not survive but will always remain in their hearts.

 

Mike will be forever grateful for all of the love and support received from family and friends but was also surprised at the lack of more formal support available after the loss of their boys.  After being introduced to Pockets of Light, Mike has been eager to help other grieving parents in any way that he can.

 

Mike is a Senior Vice President for Prudential’s private fixed income business, Prudential Capital Group. Mike graduated from Lehigh University with a BS in Finance and later earned his MBA from Rutgers University.  Mike lives in Fanwood, NJ, with his wife Jen and son Brendan.

CHRISTINE CASADONTE

Christine is a facilitator for our Stillbirth and Early Infant Loss support group and our Pregnancy After Loss group. She has completed perinatal bereavement training.

 

After graduating with a bachelor’s degree in health education from Montclair State University in 2008, Christine returned to school at Mountainside Hospital School of Nursing to become a registered nurse. Since graduating from nursing school in 2010, Christine has worked as an Emergency Department nurse at Overlook Medical Center.

 

In 2013, Christine and her husband Jon found out they were expecting their first child, a baby girl, due to arrive in May of 2014. After an uncomplicated and healthy pregnancy, Christine and Jon were devastated to learn that their daughter Ava’s heart suddenly stopped beating at 38 weeks gestation. Ava was delivered stillborn on May 3, 2014.

 

Immediately after their loss, Christine used various types of grief support, including online support groups and weekly in-person therapy. Christine always felt that she wanted to help other parents and families suffering the loss of a baby and is so grateful that she has the opportunity to do just that through Pockets of Light.

 

Christine and Jon were extremely fortunate to bring home two children after Ava’s death. Ava has two little sisters, Emma and Olivia. While these rainbow girls bring so much joy and happiness into Christine and Jon’s lives, they will never forget their first daughter Ava and the lifetime that they lost with her.

TOM TRUXILLO

Tom Truxillo is a facilitator for our Stillbirth and Early Infant Loss support groups. 

 

Tom and Erin suffered through years of infertility before conceiving their first child through IVF.  Tragically, their daughter Hailey was stillborn a month shy of her due date.  After the loss Tom and Erin participated in a KinderMourn support group for grieving parents.  Tom will be eternally grateful for the support that KinderMourn provided and hopes that every bereaved parent is able to find help following a loss.  While they still lived in Charlotte, Tom stayed involved with KinderMourn by speaking in grief workshops, serving as a mentor for newly bereaved parents, and participating in fundraising events.  

 

Tom is a Portfolio Manager for AIG’s Public Fixed Income group.  After graduating with a B.S in Business Administration from Carnegie Mellon University, he began his career working for an Aerospace and Defense consulting firm in Bethesda, MD.  After a few years, he decided to pursue his MBA and change his career path. His more than 10 year career in Investment Banking and Asset Management began after he received his M.B.A from the University of Maryland and started working for an investment bank in Charlotte, NC.