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'Climb out of the darkness' – Moms helping moms through difficult times

Two moms in Lackawanna County are on a mission. They're spreading awareness about an issue they say does not get talked about enough.

BLAKELY, Pa. — "You are not alone." — That's a message all of these moms needed to hear at one point.

  • "I myself lived with postpartum depression and anxiety," Katie Spencer said.
  • "I had postpartum very badly after baby number four," Kelly Gibson said.
  • "I also suffered from postpartum depression after I had my daughter," Tiffany Carroll said.
  • "I had postpartum with my son, and it took me six years to speak up," Kristen Miller-Hahn said.

But these Lackawanna County moms are on a mission. They don't want other women to be afraid to ask for help.

Kristen Miller-Hahn, a mother of three, now knows speaking up can change everything.

"When I shared my story online, the amount of messages and people that are coming forward sharing their stories has been overwhelmingly humbling, powerful, and just beautiful to hear."

She and Katie Spencer are bringing an international fundraiser to northeastern Pennsylvania for the first time.

It's called Climb Out of The Darkness – a darkness Spencer knows firsthand.

"I felt very ashamed and, you know, not wanting to speak up. The communication with my husband with family, it just kind of diminished."

According to Postpartum Support International, one in five new moms suffers from some form of perinatal mood or anxiety disorder. It's common but often not obvious from the outside.

"It's super isolating, and it's taboo to talk about. You can't admit that once you have a baby," Tiffany Carroll, owner of The Salted Pixie, said.

"You're supposed to be very happy, you know, here's this new little one that you just gave birth to, and everything is supposed to be sunshine and rainbows, and it's not," Kelly Gibson, owner of Kel's Kraftiness, said.

Tiffany and Kelly are taking part in this weekend's event as vendors but also as moms with their own postpartum stories, hoping to spread awareness.

Climb Out of the Darkness is planned for Sunday from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. at the Blakely Borough Recreation Complex.

After a walk, there will be live entertainment, yoga, and plenty of family-friendly activities like balloon art and face painting.

It's free for the community.

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