‘One day you will tell your story of how you overcame what you went through and it will be someone else’s survival guide” Brene Brown
My name is Sara, and I’m honoured to be organising a fundraising event for Red Nose Day on the Sunshine Coast in August. This will be my first time fundraising for Red Nose Day, and my first crack at running an event!
The quote above really sums up why I’ve chosen to share my story and raise money for Red Nose. I want to give people hope that they, too, will survive after the life-altering loss of a pregnancy, baby or child.
2021 is a milestone year in our family. It marks the 16th birthday of my first baby, Jesse, who was stillborn. And it also marks my third baby, Bo’s, 13th birthday. Bo passed away unexpectedly only five hours after she was born.
My partner Phil and I, and our daughters Holley (14) and Belle (10), really wanted to do something special and meaningful to remember them and celebrate their lives.
Last week, on Jesse’s 16th birthday, we began by going hot air ballooning. The four of us had that experience at sunrise and it was such a beautiful way to honour and remember him. We floated through the sky, thinking of him.
At times, 16 years seems surreal. The memory of losing your first baby never leaves you. It feels like yesterday, really, even though I see the number and know that in reality 16 years have gone by.
On my 40th birthday I did a fundraiser for Sands, which is now part of Red Nose, and it has become something of a tradition in my family to fundraise when someone hits a milestone!
With ‘getting silly for a serious cause’ in mind, the theme for our Red Nose Day event will be cupcakes and clowns! We’ll have special Red Nose Day cupcakes, face-painting for the kids, balloons and lots of fun activities.
We plan for it to be a whole family affair. My brother has a craft beer alehouse and brewery and has created a bespoke Aussie Red Ale for the occasion – with proceeds from the sale going to Red Nose Day.
I’ve even dragged my mum Annie and uncle Keith out of retirement to perform some tunes for us – they have both been professional singers.
They started entertaining in their first dance band back in the early seventies playing at weddings and lots of Venues around Beaudesert / Gold Coast / Brisbane!
They’re going to sing songs that are really meaningful to me, including Winter Bear and hopefully an Ed Sheeran song, although they haven’t committed to learning that one yet!
Whilst I can’t celebrate these two milestone birthdays with my babies, I can honour them and celebrate the impact their little lives continue to have in this way.
Their physical lives may have ended but my relationship and love for them will continue for the rest of my life.
Losing a baby is a tragedy no family should have to go through - let alone more than once, like we have. Doing something positive like volunteering or fundraising always makes me feel like that is my way of continuing to parent and honour my babies who are no longer with us. Register to participate in Red Nose Day and you'll be helping families like mine find the support they need to find a way through their grief.