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BELLEVILLE, Ill. – So many parents and loved ones died during the past year during this pandemic and Heartlinks is a children’s grief support center in Belleville that recently expanded to include young adults ages 18 to 30 who lost a parent or loved one.

It’s called, “Friends Who Get It.” It’s free and they meet virtually once a month.

Reagan DeShaine, 25, and her friend Taylor came up with the idea. Reagan’s father died seven years ago of cancer. She struggled emotionally not knowing anyone her age facing the same grief.

Reagan reached out to Heartlinks Director Diana Cuddeback and “Friends Who Get It” began. There are now 20 members who meet virtually on zoom the third Wednesday of every month for everything from talking to trivia contests.

Grieving 18 to 30-year-olds may contact  “Friends Who Get It” on Instagram or at Their next meeting is on St. Patrick’s Day, March 17.