Our Team


Jasmin Herchak.jpg

Jasmin Herchak

Co-Founder

Programs Director/Family Liaison

Birth and Bereavement Companion

On May 6th, 2013, exactly twenty weeks pregnant with her 5th child, Jasmin found out that not only was her little girl’s heart no longer beating, but that it had apparently stopped at least 2.5 weeks before. This was the very fist time she had heard the term “missed miscarriage.” That evening, confused, in shock, and with no time to plan or process, Jasmin and her husband said a hasty hello and goodbye to their baby girl, Jael. The grief, regret, and research that followed sparked a deep desire to help other perinatal loss families and ensure that they had the knowledge and support needed to make the most of the time with their baby and build a solid foundation from wh ice to set our on their lifelong grieving journey. After a chance meeting with Bri Koop in 2015, the beginnings of Empty Arms seemingly fell into place. It has taken the hard work and dedication of many individuals to get the organization to where it is today. 

Jasmin is passionate about and dedicated to Empty Arms, the families served by the organization, and the babies she has had the absolute honour of meeting along the way. She now works as Programs Director, primary Birth & Bereavement Companion, and peer support provider for Empty Arms. 


Briana Koop

Briana Koop

Co-Founder

In August of 2013, halfway through their second pregnancy, Briana and her family learned that the child they were carrying would not survive birth. At 23 weeks gestation they made the  impossible decision to induce labour. On August 23 that year, Marlow, their second child and first son, was born. He was loved for every second of his life, and has been loved and missed for every moment since. 

In 2015, Briana met Jasmin and immediately agreed to become part of her inspiring project. She is honoured to be a part of what Empty Arms has blossomed into and is constantly inspired by those she works with and serves. She now works as Communications Director and provides professional memorial photography for families experiencing their own losses.


AAP2016-2276.jpeg

Lacey Benoit

President

Being a health professional, Lacey is part of the care that some families that experience perinatal loss receive through the Health Authority. In 2014, the tables turned and she experienced first missed miscarriage at nine weeks, and then the loss of her daughter at 19 weeks gestation. Her personal losses lead her to seek out support beyond the medical field, at which point she connected with Empty Arms. She was honoured to be asked to join the board to volunteer and to share her medical knowledge about pregnancy loss. The support Empty Arms provides is outstanding from both a personal and professional perspective and Lacey is proud to be a part of improving the care families receive. 


steve.png

Steven Killick

Board Member

A fortuitous Facebook search was what brought Steve and his wife to Empty Arms at the time of the loss of their daughter, Briar Rose, at 21 weeks gestation. Steve and his wife received a phenomenal amount of support from Empty Arms throughout their ordeal as they prepared for her delivery and their lives after loss. Their relationships with Empty Arms staff blossomed into friendships, and not long after Briar was born, they wanted to give back to the organization that helped them through the hardest time of their lives. When asked to help volunteer on the board, Steve gladly accepted, hoping that a father's perspective of their grief journey may help at least one dad out there unlucky enough to experience what they did.



IMG_5636.jpg

Melissa Franson

Administrative Assistant

After 10years of infertility for Melissa and sometime trying to get pregnant as couple, they finally got their dreams of being parents. On May 27, 2015 at 37.5weeks, Melissa went into early labour; but little did they know, once at the hospital they would be told their worse fears, their first child has no heartbeat. Their first daughter (and child) Parker Annabella Franson was born stillborn at 7:32am May 27, 2015. Even though Melissa and her husband didn’t have the opportunity to have Empty Arms at their birth, they have found tremendous support, guidance and healing within the Empty Arms support groups (in person, online and one-on-one). “Without the support of Empty Arms -Jasmin and other Loss Moms. I don’t know where I would be, my husband or our relationship. We are forever grateful to have received the info about Empty Arms from our Nurse the day we lost our daughter.” When approached about joining the board in December 2017, Melissa couldn’t think of a better way to give back in honour of her daughter Parker and help other baby loss families. After some time and changes, it was recognized Empty Arms was growing and office assistance need. Timing just seemed right for Melissa and she joined Empty Arm as a staff member April 2018 - Administrative Assistant. “I am very honoured and humbled to be apart of Empty Arms Organization, To work for an amazing organization (cause) and be able help other baby loss families”.