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Thursday, October 18, 2012

Erica Barlament - Beauty Arises From Tragedy

Erica Barlament
National American Miss Wisconsin Junior Pre-teen 2012
Barbizon Midwest Wisconsin graduate, Erica Barlament, recently earned the National American Miss Wisconsin Junior Pre-teen 2012 title. Her platform the importance of organ and tissue donation.

Kari and Eric Barlament were celebrating one of life's greatest joys - preparing for the birth of their first child - when tragedy struck their family. While on their way to the store to shop for baby items another car drifted across the center lane and struck their car head-on.

Miraculously, Kari emerged with only broken bones and her pregnancy undisturbed. But, her husband, Eric, was gone forever.
Erica's Parents - Eric and Kari Barlament
The Barlament's healthy daughter, Erica was born in 2003
on September 5, her father's birthday.
The 31- year old had pledged to become an organ and tissue donor and often encourage family members to do the same. With the help of a funeral director, Kari worked to carry out her husband's wishes and consented to donate his bone, heart valves, veins and tendons.

"Eric was so generous," Kari says. "He believed that when we die and don't need our organs and tissue, we should help someone else."

Erica Barlament
"[My father] is forever with me in my heart
and as my guardian angel watching over
me from heaven."
"The greatest gift my father has taught me is not to be selfish and help others whenever possible," Erica shared in her speech at the competition. "In my eyes my father will always be my hero, and someone I never got the chance to meet in person."

Eric James Barlament will be honored by "Donate Life" at the Rose Parade. As a floragraph family Kari and Erica will share the experience of decorating Eric's portrait and watching it pass by on the heart-laden Donate Life float in the Rose Parade.

Donate Life 2013 Floragraph - Eric Barlament

Erica has already begun to follow in her father's generous footsteps by taking part in this years "JDRF Walk to Cure Diabetes."

Erica, we are so sorry for your tragic loss, yet so proud to see you carrying on his legacy by sharing his story. You are a beautiful girl inside and out, and an inspiration to all those around you.

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