Meet our Red Bird Families:
Each core team couple has experienced the unthinkable loss of a child and desires to help families who are suffering.
The benefit of becoming a mentor:
“For it is in giving that we receive.”
St. Francis of Assisi
Kelly & Ryan Breaux
Ryan and Kelly Breaux are from the small town of Breaux Bridge, Louisiana located approximately 1 hour west of Baton Rouge. Geaux Tigers. They will be celebrating their 17th anniversary on July 13th of this year. Ryan and Kelly have 4 children, 1 daughter Estelle who is 10 years old and 3 Saints in heaven. Emma and Talon would be turning 13 this year, and a baby they loss through miscarriage that would be turning 6 this year. Ryan works for Lafayette Coca-Cola for the last 20+ years, and Kelly is a real estate agent for RE/MAX Acadiana for the past 3.5 years.
They worship at St Bernard Church in their hometown, where they are involved in a few ministries leading souls to Christ. They currently coordinate and lead the youth ministry program for the middle schoolers, grades 6th - 8th, and mentor the disciples grades 9th - 12th grade. They also are working with The Diocese of Lafayette to institute a Grief Support Ministry in all deaneries associated within thier diocese, for families who have experienced child loss of any age or circumstance including miscarriage, stillbirth, infant, child, adolescence, or adult. This fall they had the honor of hosting the first marriage workshop in their diocese for couples who have experienced the loss of a child, and spiritually lead them through their grief together as a married couple.
Kelly is also working on her autobiography called "Hiding in the Upper Room", where she shares their story in it's entirety and leads the readers through healing grief through the sacraments.
Saints in Heaven:
Talon Antoine Breaux - 10/16/05 to 10/31/05 - 15 days - NICU Infection
Emma Grace Breaux - 10/16/05 to 09/10/09 - 3 1/2 years old - H1N1 Swine Flu
Baby Breaux - 11 weeks - miscarrage 2012
Misty & Shane Thibodeaux
Shane and Misty are from Cecilia, Louisiana. They grew up together in the same neighborhood and were high school sweethearts. They have three children, one son Tobin who is 15 years old, one daughter Isley who would be 13, and a baby that they lost through a miscarriage who would be 5.
Shane has been self-employed for the past 18 years. They own Streamline Coatings in Cecilia. Misty is a 1999 UL graduate. Go Cajuns! She gave up her career in the medical field when Isley was 8 months old to stay home, raise their children and help Shane out with the family business.
God has put certain people on their path of life's journey to show them that they are capable of helping others in daily life. Shane is an extremely busy guy but will always take time for someone in need and share the gifts that God has given him. Misty enjoys volunteering in various ministries, has started a neighborhood rosary group and is a strong supporter of the Cursillo movement.
Saints in Heaven:
Isley Brooks Thibodeaux
Accident involving a Drunk Driver
Adrienne & Jason Mejias
Adrienne and Jason Mejias have been married for 17 years and currently live in Broussard, LA with their two beautiful children, Matthew (9) and Lily (6). Their little saints, Emma (16) and Anna (15) entered their heavenly home at 20 months old and 2-1/2 months old. Like Job they continued to experience loss in multiple miscarriages.
Jason is currently employed with ESA as a Facility Supervisor and Adrienne is self employed as a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist. She currently travels back and forth to New Iberia, and Lafayette between her two offices. In 2004, Adrienne completed her undergrad at UL of Lafayette in Sociology and then attended Capella University where she studied marriage and family therapy and graduated in 2015 with a Master’s of Science.
Through their grief, they learned how to trust God, and lean on each other. Together they will share their testimony on faith and perseverance in the eyes of Job.
For grief counseling from a bereaved mother who understands, you can find Adrienne at these two locations.
New Iberia Location – Dr. David Landry's Office - 203 W. Main St. #105, New Iberia, LA 70560 - (337) 374-1952
Lafayette Location - Magnolia Counseling & Life Coaching - 1405 W. Pinhook Rd., Lafayette, LA 70503 - (337) 245-2500
Saints in Heaven:
Emma Claire Mejias - 4/22/03 to 12/24/04 - 20 months old - Complications from a genetic disorder
Anna - 10/27/04 to 1/6/05 - 2-1/2 months old - Complications from a genetic disorder
Hannah Grace Mejias - 19 weeks - miscarriage/complications from a genetic disorder
Kristen & Mark Dunbar
Mark and Kristen are natives of Lafayette, LA. Both being products of the Catholic school system, they graduated from St. Thomas More High school (4 years apart) before meeting at ULL while doing music ministry at sister parishes in the Diocese of Lafayette. Mutual friends spurred them on to “give each other a chance,” and after a long summer of hangouts and establishing a deeper friendship, the two began dating in August 2002. Fast forward fifteen months, and Mark and Kristen married on a crisp fall evening at Our Lady of Fatima Catholic Church on Friday, November 19, 2004 during a candle lit ceremony.
Life moved quickly, and they welcomed four children in six years: Benjamin James (2/9/06), Maria Kathryn (11/28/07), Bethany Anne (12/17/09), and Joseph Paul (6/15/12). In the summer of 2016, a renewal and healing was experienced in their marriage, and on October 1, 2016 on the feast of St. Therese, they discovered they were expecting their fifth child. The pregnancy progressed as a normal, healthy, “text-book” pregnancy, and the gender was kept as a surprise. Their kids were elated and could not wait to welcome a new baby into their home. It all seemed so surreal. However, on May 22, 2017 at 38 weeks gestation, while Mark was away on silent retreat, Kristen discovered reduced fetal movement with their baby.
After consulting their doctor that morning, they went to Labor and Delivery at LGMC to discover their baby no longer had a heart beat. After a long and agonizing day of induction, their fifth child - Teresa Elizabeth - was delivered silently into the world at 11 pm on May 22, 2017 with a double nuchal cord containing a true knot. Their lives were changed for ever, and along with their living children, entered an unknown world of grief and loss. The August following, Mark and Kristen had another positive pregnancy test. On April 17, 2018, at a month early, they welcomed into their family their third son and sixth child, Thomas Michael.
Life continues to be a mystery of love and suffering in the ebb and flow of life and loss for the Dunbar Family. Kristen is an educator, and Mark is a jack of all trades (real estate appraising, IT work, music ministry). They reside with their children in Broussard, LA where they make their parish home at Sacred Heart of Jesus Parish just a mile down the road from their house. They are excited and humbled to be welcomed onto the Red Bird Team as they seek to serve and heal with other bereaved parents, while using their God given gifts to honor their daughter and her memory.
“In this life we cannot do great things--only small things with great love,” (St. Teresa of Calcutta)
Paula & Deacon Barney LeJeune
Barney and Paula both grew up in St. Landry Parish (Barney in Palmetto, Paula in Opelousas). They met through a mutual friend and began dating in November; they were married the following August. They were married in 1976 and moved Carencro two years later and still live there today.
Barney and Paula struggled with infertility and were able to adopt an infant, Andrea, shortly after their 10thwedding anniversary. Andrea died by suicide in May 2014 at the age of 27.
Barney was ordained a Deacon for the Diocese of Lafayette in May of 2016. He is currently assigned at St. Peter in Carencro
Barney and Paula recently retired. Barney spent his career working for various local companies in Information Technology management. Paula retired from SLEMCO in the fall of 2018 after working there for 35 years. Barney has spent the past several years striving to prevent suicide by providing training classes on suicide prevention to business professionals, law enforcement personnel, school counselors and teachers. He has also made numerous presentations on suicide awareness and prevention to junior high and high school students throughout Acadiana. While Executive Director of Jacob Crouch Suicide Prevention Services, Barney was instrumental in the founding of several local Survivor of Suicide Support Groups to aid those through the grieving process who had lost a loved one to suicide.
Andrea Beth LeJeune - 27 years old - Suicide
8/6/86 to 5/26/14