We are running the London Marathon on Sunday 23rd April 2017 to fundraise for Bristol SANDS (Stillbirth and Neonatal Death charity) in memory of my baby Gabriel Star Senneck, our beautiful baby boy who we lost in March 2013.
We are raising money for Bristol Sands to thank them for all the support they have given my family and me over the last 4 years. The grief after the loss of my baby has taken me to the darkest and lowest of places, and at times been complicated by traumatic flashbacks and anxiety. It was advised that, to try and cope with the trauma and grief, I should try do some exercise; I didn't have the confidence to exercise in public so I worked out at home. I was feeling a bit stronger last May when Jenny encouraged me to come for a run with her. I nervously set out in the rain. We ran 4 miles! After the run I felt great and I felt that I had achieved something! With Jenny's encouragement and support we started to run a bit further.
I had wanted to do something in Gabriel's memory for a long time, so set myself, what feels like, the impossible challenge of running (not walking or stopping) 26.2 miles! The training is really tough and hard to fit in around family life, but I feel determined to do it. Nothing is as tough as losing him. With Jenny's inspiration, enthusiasm and support we've slowly increased our miles. Jenny is such a positive person and her energy helps me when I am struggling. I've cried on many
runs thinking about Gabriel, how much I miss him and wish I could hold him just one more time. Running gives me the time to be with him, I often call in to see him on my runs at the church where he is buried, St. Peter's Church, Portishead. I hope he is proud of his mummy for attempting to run so far and of his daddy, sisters and brother for the support and time they give me to train.
During my night runs I look at the stars and think of Gabriel and all the other angel babies taken from us too soon. I tell him how much I love him and how thankful I am that he is part of our family, eternally loved and never forgotten.
Thank you for supporting us, and the bereaved Bristol SANDS families.
Rachael Senneck and Jenny Bowcher xxxxxxx
What Bristol SANDS does...
Bristol SANDS is a group of volunteers offering help and support to bereaved parents who have suffered the devastating death of a baby before, during or after birth. Support is given to families at remembrance services and events throughout the year and at support meetings. There is a mobile phone support line run by volunteers and a website. Bristol SANDS funds essential equipment for local hospitals and gives much needed bereavement training to health care professionals. We also provide support packs for parents with memory cards and foot and handprint sets.
Bristol SANDS are currently trying to fundraise for the essential refurbishment of the bereavement suite at Southmead hospital; they need a total of £14,125 to complete the project. Gabriel was born on the bereavement suite at Southmead Hospital; it's called the Maple Suite, a specifically designed room to allow parents to deliver their baby in privacy and to spend time with their babies with dignity. The refurbishment of The Maple Suite will update a vital room in the delivery suite. The room gives parents, who have just suffered the devastating loss of a baby, a little sanctuary with their precious baby before having to take those frightening and isolating steps into the real world without their much longed for baby. Any donation you can make is gratefully appreciated by us, and everyone at Bristol SANDS.