Cleveland mom starts non-profit to help others who lost a child

A Hug From Above, Inc., hosting fun run on Saturday to benefit scholarship program

Wendy Medina is pictured with her infant son, Jaxon, who died five years ago at the age of 3 months.

By Vanesa Brashier,

For parents who have lost a child, the grief never goes away. Five years after the death of her son, Jaxon, Wendy Medina of Cleveland has formed A Hug From Above, Inc., as a way of turning the single-most awful event of her life into something positive for parents who have suffered similar losses.

Medina hopes that those who are part of her non-profit organization will find comfort from leaning on each other and sharing their experiences. Most importantly, she said, they are free to speak about their grief.

“Every single mother I’ve spoken to says the same thing – it’s not talked about,” Medina said. “A lot of people don’t want to talk about it.”

Medina, who manages the family’s El Burrito Restaurant in Cleveland, lost her son, Jaxon, when he was just 3 months old, a victim of crib death.

“Whenever Jaxon died, I remember trying to make my other kids feel better, but I couldn’t focus on them because I was hurting. Thank goodness they had each other,” she said.

Years later, through working with her on A Hug From Above, Inc., her older children, Ashton and Amarissa, have finally shared with her how helpless they felt after their brother’s death.

“They told me, ‘Mom, we couldn’t talk about it because it made you so upset. We didn’t know what to say,’” Medina said. “They were pretending they were all right so they wouldn’t upset me. That’s how this organization started because I want other parents and children to know it’s okay to talk about it.”

Amarissa Alvarez lost her brother, Jaxon, when she was just 6 years old. Her excitement of getting to take care of a real baby was lost as soon as she got the chance.

Though A Hug From Above, Inc., is just getting started, Medina says they have big plans, which include providing annual scholarships to a graduating senior who has lost immediate family members, such as a parent or sibling. They also have organized a quilt project and a 5K run.

The quilt will include the 26 names of children who were lost to the organization’s members. Along with each child’s name will be Bible verses that encourage strength. The group plans to deliver the first quilt this Saturday to a local mother who recently suffered a loss.

Also, on Saturday, A Hug From Above, Inc., is hosting its inaugural 5K run. Because it is being held on May 4, the theme is May the Fourth Be With You and all participants are encouraged to dress in their favorite Star Wars attire. The money raised from the event will go toward the scholarship account.

The fun run will have a 1K run for children 12 and younger. The fee is $5. The 5K run for ages 13 and older has a fee of $20. Vendors who want to host booths can sign up for a fee of $25. The runs begin at 7:30 a.m. this Saturday, May 4, at El Burrito Restaurant. The path leads runners through neighborhood streets and ends at El Burrito.

Medina is looking for youths to serve on the junior committee for A Hug From Above, Inc. Anyone with an interest should contact her at

For more information on A Hug From Above, Inc., go online to or

Ashton Medina and Amarissa Alvarez are part of the junior committee for A Hug From Above, Inc. They lost their little brother, Jaxon, five years ago when he was just 3 months old.
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Before creating Bluebonnet News in 2018, Vanesa Brashier was a community editor for the Houston Chronicle/Houston Community Newspapers. During part of her 12 years at the newspapers, she was assigned as the digital editor and managing editor for the Humble Observer, Kingwood Observer, East Montgomery County Observer and the Lake Houston Observer, and the editor of the Dayton News, Cleveland Advocate and Eastex Advocate. Over the years, she has earned more than two dozen writing awards, including Journalist of the Year.

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