Thank you for your support this Red Nose Day!
Hi friends and family,
I have created this fundraising page because I believe in the incredible work that Red Nose does to fund research, support families, and help save little lives.
Red Nose Day has been around for over 30 years and the funds raised in that time led to the creation of the Safe Sleep Program, which has reduced the rate of SIDS in Australia by an incredible 85%!
But there is still so much work to do and so many families that rely on their support.
Support my fundraiser by making a donation and you could help discover the next breakthrough in the fight against SIDS, stillbirth, and miscarriage. Every dollar raised also helps keep Red Nose support services free and open 24/7 for grieving parents and families.
Any amount, big or small can have such a profound effect on the lives of thousands of Australian families.
So please, dig deep this Red Nose Day and together we can make a real difference.
International Day of Friendship - Friends are Passengers on Life’s BusFriday 30th Jul
International Day of Friendship and I thought this would be the perfect day to
express just how grateful I am for my family and friends. For me, friends are the family we choose for ourselves.
‘Lots of people want to ride with you in the limo but what you want is someone who will take the bus with you when the limo breaks down.” – Oprah Winfrey
I am so blessed that when my limo has broken down over the years, my family and friends have taken the bus with me every time.
Life is a bit like a bus ride. The journey begins at one bus stop and ends at another. Along the way you pick up passengers, some strangers, some friends, and some strangers yet to be friends. Many passengers get on and off at different bus stops along the way. Sometimes a passenger will stay longer than others and on occasion a passenger will stay on with you until the end of the ride.
passengers seem to get on the bus at the exact time you need them to, even if you don't realise it at the time. I feel that every passenger
serves a purpose at different points in your life and you can learn something from every passenger who gets on.
I will never forget Jesse’s funeral. Our close family and friends were there to stand by our side, with letters they’d written for him, crystals, matchbox cars, flowers, balloons. Our limo had broken down and they came and got on the bus with us.
I will never forget when Bo died, my brothers and their wives dropped everything and drove 20 hours to Mt Isa where we were living at the time to be with us. Our limo had broken down again, they got back on the bus with us.
During the first 6 weeks or so after Bo died, we had every close person in our family fly out to get on the bus with us too. I will never forget those times and the way our friends and family made us feel - so loved, cared for, and supported.
As time has gone on, the passengers who get on our bus have continued to say Jesse & Bo’s name, acknowledge their birthdays, tell their children about them and light candles on significant days in memory of them. I don’t think they will every truly know how much that has and continues to mean to me. They have never forgotten, and I like to believe that a part of Jesse and Bo live on in their hearts too.
Friends truly are a privilege, and I wouldn’t get through life riding in my limo or bus without them.
One passenger who has never left my bus is my brother Adam. I look forward to introducing him in my next blog post where I will get down to business – Stalwart Ale House and Brewery Red Nose Day Fundraiser!
Saturday 14th August from 11:30am, details coming soon!
Much Love Sara xo
The Road That Led Me To Red Nose & To Finding MeaningFriday 23rd Jul
‘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
If you were to ask me when I was younger what I wanted to do when I grew up, never in my wildest dreams would I have said I want to work in Bereavement Services for families who have experienced the loss of a baby or child. I have come to realise however that sometimes in life you can find your purpose and other times your purpose finds you.
After my son Jesse was stillborn in 2005 and my daughter Bo died 5 hours after she was born in 2008, I left the hospital both times with empty arms, a broken heart and a handful of brochures. There was no follow up call, no offer of support, no guidance as to what to expect or how to navigate my way through the early months of life without my babies, it was such an isolating experience.
I felt lost, lonely, sad, and confused, I didn’t know which way to turn or what to do. I had to find my way through each day as best I could and hope that in time I would get through the pain and the sadness that I was feeling.
I started doing a lot of reading about other people’s stories of baby loss and this became something that helped to heal my heart. As sad as every story was to read, it gave me a sense of comfort, hope, and normalised my thoughts and feelings.
‘Sands is a volunteer-based organisation providing individualised care from one bereaved parent to another, giving them support and hope for the future, following the death of a baby’.
Connecting with Sands and the Sands community became a big part of my healing in those early years after losing my babies. It is an organisation that no one wants to belong to but when life takes you there you find it to be incredibly bonding. Healing comes from connection and feeling heard and understood. You form deep human connections, it’s not just “oh I feel bad for you” but “I actually understand”.
In time, I reached a point where the support services had served their purpose for me. I knew however that I wanted to stay connected with Sands as it had become a part of my heart too. I was hoping that one day I would be able to give back or pay it forward to the organisation that had helped me so much.
‘Sands peer-to peer support services are unique and different to any support offered by friends, family or other professional counselling or therapy services. It is through the lived experience of our volunteer parent supporters that we are able to provide real hope, understanding and empathy’.
About 5 years ago I became a volunteer parent supporter for Sands on the 1300 support line and a facilitator for support groups. Over a year ago I also became employed by Sands in the Hospital to Home pilot program providing intense support services to families who have experienced a stillbirth or newborn death. This has been a very welcomed and much needed support service for bereaved families around Australia and one that I hope will continue to develop and be a part of the national standard of care following the death of a baby.
In November 2020, Sands merged operations with Red Nose.
‘Red Nose is Australia’s leading authority on safe sleep and safer pregnancy advice, and bereavement support for anyone affected by the death of a baby or child’.
Together they are
‘Australia’s leading organisation working both to prevent babies and young children dying suddenly and unexpectedly, and support services for families following the tragic death of their baby or child during pregnancy, infancy and early childhood’.
I am so grateful to be a part of Sands/Red Nose and both my volunteering and employment roles are incredibly meaningful to me. To be able to support bereaved families by being a guiding light, walking beside them and witnessing their grief is an absolute privilege.
I have learned and accepted that life happens for you, not to you, and I believe the good and the bad things that happen in life shape you into the person you are meant to become.
work has helped me to find meaning. As psychiatrist, philosopher, author and holocaust survivor Victor Frankl once said
‘What is to give light must endure burning’. In some
ways suffering ceases to be suffering the moment it finds a meaning.
When you lose a baby your heart, spirit and soul breaks into a million pieces. These pieces don’t define us. It's how we pick up these pieces, who we become, what we contribute, that is what gives meaning to our lives.
Much Love Sara xo
Meet My ‘Rainbow Babies’ Holley & BelleSunday 11th Jul
A ‘rainbow baby’ is the name given to a healthy baby born after losing a baby due to miscarriage, infant loss, stillbirth, or neonatal death.
The name ‘rainbow baby’ comes from the idea of a rainbow appearing in the sky after a storm, or after a dark and turbulent time, the rainbow symbolising hope and healing.
I had not heard of this term until I became a part of the baby loss community where I started hearing it all the time and realised that my two living daughters are my ‘rainbow babies’.
💙2005 Jesse 👼
💗2006 Holley 🌈
💗2008 Bo 👼
💗2010 Belle 🌈
I remember when I left the hospital with Holley in my arms, my emotions were two-fold. Firstly, I thought this is the most amazing feeling in the world as we were putting her into her car seat. But as we drove off, I was flooded with an overwhelming feeling of sadness as I flashed back to the day, we left the hospital the year before with no baby in the back. I let myself grieve for Jesse again at that moment and then turned around to hold my little girl’s hand feeling ever so grateful for her life.
Never in my wildest dreams did I think that 18 months later I would be leaving the hospital again with empty arms. But I did. My dreams and my heart were broken again as I found myself having to say goodbye to another baby just after saying hello.
Getting into our car and looking at the two car seats in the back just broke my heart. How your life can change in the matter of one day, one hour, one minute, one second?
After losing Bo, I did not think my husband and I would have the courage to try again for another baby but even though Holley was our ‘rainbow baby’ she also became our ‘sunshine baby’ and gave us so much hope. Holley helped us believe that we could conceive a baby successfully and she was our everyday reminder that we were fully capable of keeping and delivering a healthy baby.
In 2010, our second rainbow baby Belle was born. I knew from the minute she was born that my family was complete. I got to fill that second car seat after all and had a sibling for Holley to grow up with and they are now both the rays of sunshine in my life.
Holley and Belle are not here instead of Jesse and Bo, but because of them.
Having a ‘rainbow baby’ is a time of immense joy, reflection, healing, and mixed emotions and healing does not mean forgetting, which is why we continue to honour Jesse and Bo’s lives in ways that are important to us like doing this Red Nose Day fundraiser, just as we create beautiful traditions with Holley and Belle.
As much as I would give anything to be able to hold all four of my babies in my arms, I will be forever grateful for the miracle of my two beautiful, healthy daughters that I have been blessed to share this life with. I am also grateful, for everything that my two angels Jesse and Bo have taught me about life, love, strength, hope, resilience, and gratitude.
When you lose a parent you lose your past, but when you lose a child, you lose your future. My heart goes out to all who have lost; I know and understand your pain.
Much Love, Sara xoShare
In Loving Memory of Jesse & BoSunday 20th Jun
Thank you to my Sponsors
Dirk & Danielle Humphrey
Finanny & Poppy Paul