Sands, the stillbirth and neonatal death charity was founded in 1978 and established in 1981 by a small group of bereaved parents devastated by the death of their babies. In particular by what they felt was a complete lack of acknowledgement and understanding of the significance and impact of their loss
Incredibly in the UK today, in spite of all medical advances, 17 babies will die – victims of stillbirth or neonatal death – 17 each and every day – an unbelievable figure of 6500 babies lives lost a year. This equates to 16 jumbo jets crashing each year with no survivors.
Most people are blissfully unaware that such a shocking figure exists. Most people think that stillbirth and baby’s dying is something that happened in the “Victorian times” or “olden days” – not something that happens to 17 families every single day. Stillbirth and baby death remains a silent problem. http://www.uk-sands.org/About-Sands.html
Sands have 3 core aims:
• To support anyone affected by the death of a baby.
• To work in partnership with health professionals to improve the quality of care and services offered to bereaved families.
• To promote research and changes in practice that could help to reduce the loss of babies’ lives.
So why is this important to me?
Because, on the 21st June 2010, my husband, me and our baby daughter were one of the ‘17’. Our beautiful Anabelle was born sleeping, just 32 weeks grown.
Please imagine for a moment giving birth to a silent baby and never seeing your baby’s eyes, holding your baby in your arms but then having to give them up and then having to plan your baby’s funeral. This is what myself and my husband went through. This is what 16 other parents went through that day, 119 grandparents, aunties and uncles that week, 6500 families in 2010.
Our lives shattered into a million pieces. Like every other family experiencing this heartbreaking loss, we turned to Sands for support. Sands continues to support families affected by the death of their much loved baby, including us and our family.
Sands relies on donations to provide this much needed support, raise awareness and fund research into stillbirth and neonatal deaths. Through their Why 17? Campaign their aim is to raise £1.7 million over 17 months to research why so many babies are still dying in the UK. http://www.why17.org/
For Anabelle’s first birthday we have organised a big fundraising event to raise awareness and support for the Sands campaign. Through a sponsored “17 themed” awareness raising walk and an angel day birthday fete we hope to raise lots of money in Anabelle’s name and memory to give to Sands.
We simply could not let Anabelle’s 1st birthday pass without acknowledgement and wanted to end the very worst year of our lives in a positive way; what could honour our daughters’ memory better than raising funds for a charity that supports angel families and seeks to prevent babies of the future dying? We hope our contribution to the charity will stop more families living our reality.
When we first started planning Anabelle’s Angel Day we were not sure what sort of response we expected; to say we’ve been overwhelmed by people’s generosity and kindness is an understatement.
I would love to implore you to read our story (http://cazandbelle.blogspot.com/2011/05/anabelles-story.html) and support Sands alongside us; because if our part and your part in fundraising can be even a small part in research that will save future babies’ lives, it will have given an everlasting purpose to the very short but meaningful life of our daughter. http://www.justgiving.com/anabelles-angel-day