Despite hot weather, three sisters, two of whom work at Forth Valley Royal Hospital, completed the Edinburgh Half Marathon, smashing their target to raise money for the baby loss charity SiMBA. They originally sought to raise £300 – one hundred pounds for each of them – but after crossing the finishing line they netted an amazing £1500!
Palliative Care Nurse Johan Henderson, Co-ordinator Cancer Audit Tracking Team Nina Rutherford and Jilly Webster all suffered miscarriage and never got the chance to know their little one. The memory boxes, distributed by SiMBA, ensures that no bereaved parent leaves hospital without precious memories in their arms. In the aftermath of their loss the whole family can then gain comfort and strength by sharing and chatting about the contents, which can include hand and footprints, a wisp of hair, a tealight candle and a supportive letter from another bereaved parent.
The sisters trained for five or six months, with some short runs and several longer ones. Johan is currently on maternity leave with a 6-month-old baby boy. She says they found the course tough.
Johan explained: “It was warm all the way round, there was no breeze or anything and there were only four water stations along the whole route. Miscarriage is one of the worst experiences we have all had to face but during these difficult times every parent going through baby loss is given a memory box.”
Sister Nina added: “We were all nerves and excited to begin the run. It was not an easy run with the heat of the day but through blisters and broken toes we made it to the end. That moment of crossing the finish line was one like no other. It could bring me to tears thinking about it all over again.
“It was heart-warming and motivating to see the support from all the locals and the charity volunteers along the route and this kept us going mile by mile.”
There are different boxes for different gestations (small up to 14 weeks, medium 14-24 weeks and large 24 to neonatal). Memory boxes are donated to hospitals across the UK and Ireland so they can then be gifted to parents This year it is predicted that around 11,000 bereaved families will request a memory box to create unique and priceless memories to honour their little one.
To find out more or donate visit their JustGiving page
To find out more about the work of Simpson’s Memory Box Appeal (SiMBA) visit their website.