Parents Call For Mail Solicitations To Stop 12 Years After 2-Year-Old’s Death
For most, mail solicitations are just a nuisance.
But for a Columbus family, it is an emotional gut punch. And they want something done about it.
Lila Levine was born in 1998.
"She was a sweet, cute (girl). I don't know how many parents would say their children were not sweet and cute, but she was, you know, she was my girl," her father Kevin Levine said.
Her parents would have the gift of her beautiful eyes and big smile for a tragically short time.
Tay-Sachs, a degenerative neural disease, claimed Lila just before her 3rd birthday.
Their grief has grown manageable with time.
But their healing process has been repeatedly interrupted by solicitations like one they received three weeks ago, inviting Lila to study abroad, promising "unforgettable adventures” that will impact her “academic success.”
That came 12 years after her death.
"No, I don't want this mail,” said her father. “Because my daughter can't travel internationally. My daughter won't get married. My daughter won't buy an American Girl doll. This kind of stuff is just salt in the wounds."
Levine's search for the source of his daughter's information being shared with marketers led him to her very first day of life, when she was born at Mount Carmel East Hospital.
Levine traced the marketing of her information to Experian, who he says got it from another company:
"It actually started with another company called Growing Families Photography, who takes pictures of the kids when they're born in hospitals."
Joan Coughlin with the Better Business Bureau calls it disturbing, but not surprising in an era when personal information is currency.
"They're buying and selling them,” Coughlin said. “They're products that are being bought and sold.”
Levine says what's worse, is the gauntlet he had to run to get his daughter's name removed from just one list.
"I don't want pity. I don't want sympathy. I just want action. I want people to do what they need to do,” the father said.
Not just for him, he says, but for other families living with the grief of a lost loved one.
"Today, someone's child is dying. Tomorrow someone's child is going to die. I really would not want them to have to deal with this."
10TV News contacted the company that handled Lila's Levine's hospital photos.
"Growing Family" has since been acquired by "Mom365," which stated that it has a policy of not trading or selling personal information.
Company officials said that "Growing Family" did not have this policy, leading to the sale of Lila's information.
For families like Lila's there is help -- a site to register a deceased relative to stop these kinds of solicitations.
Watch 10TV News and refresh 10TV.com for more information.