Four Thanet sisters will tackle 21km of terrain to ascend some 975m up Mount Snowdon in just one night in aid of baby loss charity Sands.
Mum-of-two Jo Bullock, from Garlinge, mum-of-two Jackie Hill, from Westgate, mum-of-three Sarah-Jane Cooper, from Westbrook and mum-of-two Jayne Boon, from Margate, will be tackling the Sands Snowdon Sunrise Challenge this May.
The fund and awareness raising challenge will have some 200 people taking part in an eight-hour trek from Llanberis to hike Snowdon in darkness, carrying light sticks, and watch the sunrise on their descent.
The sisters will complete the hike in remembrance for Sarah-Jane’s two little ones Teddy Jay Cooper – born sleeping – and ‘Baby Bean’ lost at 14 weeks.
The aim is also to fund the vital information packs given to parents by hospitals following the loss of a baby either in pregnancy or after birth.
Jackie said: “My sister lost two babies in a year and that year I walked the Thames path challenge 50k for Sands. Unfortunately I got injured at 37k and was withdrawn from the rest of the challenge. I did however complete the last 13k 6 months later so that my son could give me the medal. My sister was helped by Sands and they help so many families.
“When she was at the hospital they gave her a pack with information about counselling places and websites to go to for help. These put her in contact with other parents who had gone through the same thing.
“When she left the hospital although they had told her about the services it didn’t really sink in. Having the pack meant she could take that away and although she couldn’t face looking straightaway, over time it provided the resources she needed so we feel it is really important to help fund Sands to get those packs into hospitals.”
On her fundraising page for Sands Sarah-Jane says: “In February 2019 our lives got turned upside down when we got told the news that our baby’s heart had stopped beating. I can’t even put into words the pain that ran through my body just hearing those words. I then had to pull the strength from somewhere to give birth to a beautiful baby boy, who was born sleeping on 11th February.
“We named him Teddy Jay Cooper. Nothing prepares your heart, body and mind to go through this.. walking out that hospital and leaving my baby behind was the hardest day of my life. We then went on to try again and sadly in September 2019 we lost another baby at 14 weeks, our Baby Bean.
“It’s been a long journey and a lot of ups and downs. The charity Sands stepped in to help me through. They help so many families every year that go through this heartache, so if I can give something back to them then I will. In May I will be climbing Snowdon to help raise money for all those family’s facing the unbearable ordeal of baby loss.”
The sisters are already fairly fit for the challenge – they run Race for Life every year- but are also building up strength by walking four-miles together three times a week.
Jackie said: “We are looking forward to the four of us being together and being able to raise awareness of the charity and funds for the packs.”
Sands – stillbirth and neonatal death charity – exists to reduce the number of babies dying and to ensure that anyone affected by the death of a baby receives the best possible care and support for as long as they need it.
Sands provides bereavement support services both nationally through its Freephone helpline, mobile app, online community and resources, and locally through a UK-wide network of around 100 regional support groups.
The charity works in partnership with health care professionals, trusts and health boards and offers a range of training programmes and bereavement care resources to ensure that every bereaved parent and family receives the best possible care wherever they are in the UK.
Sands also supports and promotes research to better understand the causes of baby deaths and save babies’ lives.
Find the sisters’ fundraiser pages at:
Sarah-Jane’s page at https://justgiving.com/fundraising/Sarahjane-Cooper
Jackie’s page at https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/jackie-hill12
Jayne’s page at https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/Jayne-Boon