Ana Maria Aeschleman , 49
Created 24-hour help line for young pregnant women
By Elinor J. Brecher, Miami Herald - August 9, 2007
Ana Maria Aeschleman, a director of the Gloria M. Silverio – Safe Haven for Newborns Foundation, died Wednesday of breast cancer. She was 49 and had been battling the disease for four years. The foundation publicizes Florida's Safe Haven law, which enables parents to leave newborns up to three days old at a hospital or fire station without fear of prosecution.
A 24 hour help line is key to the effort – taking calls usually from young pregnant women, but sometimes from their parents or partners.
The Cuban-born Aeschleman, of Miami Lakes, created and managed the line. She trained the volunteers who answered it and often answered it herself, said Nick Silverio, The Palmetto Bay software developer who established the foundation in memory of his wife, Gloria, killed in a 1999 car wreck. Aeschleman worked for his company, Nesa Inc., as manager of programming and software services, and had been close to Gloria Silverio.
Through the help line, she brokered the transfer of newborns to Safe Haven sites, soothed frightened young women who couldn't turn to family, and once talked a man through delivering his own child.
So far, 78 newborns have been taken to safe havens. Silverio said they owe their lives, in part, to Ana Aeschleman. "She helped many women in crisis and need," he said. "She made a difference. Her life mattered."
Aeschleman is survived by her husband, Mark; sons Hector, Eric and Michael Santana; mother Gigi Vasquez; sisters Olga Hicks and Maria Fernandez; brother Raul Vasquez; and six grandchildren, all of Miami.
The visitation is from 5 p.m. to midnight tonight, with prayer services at 7:30 p.m. at Lowe-Hanks Funeral Home, 4850 Palm Ave. Hialeah.
The funeral service is at 9:30 a.m. Friday at Our Lady of the Lakes Catholic Church, 15801 NW 67 Ave. Miami lakes.
Donations can be made to: Safe Haven for Newborns: www.asafehavenfornewborns.com
From Nick Silverio - Founder of the Gloria M. Silverio Foundation
"A Safe Haven for Newborns"
Dear Friends of A Safe Haven for Newborns,
This is the 2nd saddest day of my life, the 1st one was the loss of my dear wife Gloria in a fatal car accident caused by a speeding driver.
My dear friend Ana Aeschleman, after fighting a courageous 4 year battle with breast cancer is now at peace and with our Lord. Our lives and our families were so connected in a very special way over the last 25 years. She was so very special to me and Gloria. As I told her many times "Ana without your dedicated commitment and compassion the "The Safe Haven for Newborns would not be where it is today", having saved 78 little ones. She was (is) a Director of the Foundation and was responsible for the formation and supervision of our 24/7 helpline.
Ana lived a life that mattered. I will give a eulogy at her funeral mass so I will save what I have to say on that day – I hope I can get thru it.
So please read what Lenys Klumpp, Advisory Board Member of Safe Haven for Newborns wrote: A perfect tribute and legacy for a wonderful, caring person:
Ana Aeschleman – September 7, 1957 – August 7, 2007
In each of our lives, we come across so many people from different walks of life. There are the famous, the intellects, the wise and spiritual, and the poor to name a few. There are those who suffer from envy, anger, addiction and other diseases of the soul. If we pay attention, open our hearts and minds, we would recognize when God sends us angels to help us through our journey on this earth. For those of us who have been blessed to know Ana, we know full well, that she has been our angel. The one that you could go to with absolutely anything and she would help, without judgment or expectations. Ana was the glue of our community. Making everything stick together, making it happen for so many, yet few know of her many works because for Ana, it was about doing what is right. Ana was fully dedicated to giving to her family and community. Her home was the place where the family gathered; she opened her home to each of us with great generosity. She was a loving mother, wife and daughter, sister, aunt, grandmother and friend. Dedicating her energy to making the community of her family a warm and kind union. Her tireless dedication to "A Safe Haven for Newborns" helped launch and establish a program that continues to save the lives of newborns today. Ana's faith and dedication to serving God made her a central part of several ministries such as Emmaus, Ministries of Mothers Sharing, and RCIA. She helped students with reading difficulties improve their test scores and since her cancer diagnosis, she has been an ardent advocate and counselor for newly diagnosed cases. She never stopped giving back. She touched so many lives, going out of her way to reach those in need. Ana always did what was right, even when no one was looking. She has now finished her work here, but I'm sure she is already helping each of us from her new home where we will all gather some day and share our warm gathering with a good bottle of wine. Until then we must let our angel go and learn from her to continue to give and be angels for others.
I lieu of flowers Ana asked that donations be given to A Safe Haven for Newborns.