Antiques Road Trip

Antiques Road Trip

Fundraising for Sands, the stillbirth and neonatal death charity
raised of £20,000 target
by 905 supporters
Donations cannot currently be made to this page
Event: BUPA Great North Run 2013, on 15 September 2013
Participants: Charles Hanson, John Hanson, Charlie Ross, Philip Serrell, Thomas Plant, Jonathan Pratt, Jo Street, Andrew Robertson, Wendy Rattray, Ross Cowan, Louise Mcgregor, Sandy McCracken, Claire Tippett, Christina Manca, Robyn Gray, Chris Walker
Sands, the stillbirth and neonatal death charity

Verified by JustGiving

RCN 299679 & SC042789
We provide support services and work to reduce the number of baby deaths


Charles Hanson's Story:

My world seemed to flash by in a summer of filming and auctions. Then on an August day my Doctor confirmed that I had cancer. How could I, a dad to be, have testicular cancer? I was 34 and too old surely? But no – I had two different types of cancer on my left testicle and needed an operation to remove it.

What kept me going following surgery and the tests to follow at the cancer clinic of the Royal Derby Hospital was the warm feeling inside that at Christmas time my wife and I would have the best present in the world – a little boy who was a beacon of light in that dark month of August 2012. With a little boy on the way I kept thinking I must see him, I will pull through and there is no way my cancer will stop me being part of our baby’s birth. Due on Christams Day, our little baby kept us going. As you can imagine my wife was fantastic at this difficult time and it was all I could think about, every time I put my hand on her bump, was looking forward to Christmas and our First baby.    

Only a few weeks after the operation Rebecca and I went to our first pre-natal class and it really brought it home to me that I was going to be a dad and that everything was going to be okay.

Two days after that first visit my wife told me that she had not felt him move that day. Having had a scan two days before we knew our baby was in great health as the mid-wife always remarked on what a bundle of energy we had. Clearly I felt he would be like me …..full of nervous energy! I tried to reassure Rebecca; he was probably just sleeping.

Not content, and upset, we went to the local medical clinic really just to allay her fears. On our arrival a nurse checked Rebecca with ultrasound to detect a heart beat. I noticed her steady hand twitch and become more frantic. She could find no heartbeat and the panic in her comment brought tears to her, and our, eyes as she told us she needed to refer us to the Royal Derby Hospital as the baby may have died.

It’s difficult driving with tears streaming down your face but when we arrived at the hospital and the tests had been carried out our worst fears were confirmed. Our baby had died. The hospital bed over the last two weeks of tests and operations was not a stranger to me. I lay on one next to my distraught wife. Why us and why me?

We didn’t leave the hospital for the next three days and Rebecca then gave birth to our beautiful, dead, baby boy. Perfectly formed we called him Thomas “Tommy” William Hanson.

We spent two very special days with our little baby boy; they are times we will treasure for ever. The day we had to leave the labour ward and leave Tommy behind was my wife’s birthday. I walked into the hospital shop to see a young man holding a balloon which read “Well Done a Baby Boy!” I congratulated him and told him he was lucky. It was really hard leaving – trying to be unseen between the mothers to be and mothers with babies. All we had was our Memory Box.

This box was given to us by Derby SANDS and contained Tommy’s woollen blanket, small hat and name tags from his ankles. It was all we had but it was so important to both of us. Derby SANDS also gave us a memory card with Tommy’s little hand and footprint.

17 babies a day are still born or are neonatal deaths in the UK. Each memory box costs £15 but sadly many hospitals across the UK are unable to supply such boxes. A £15 box that gives a lifetime of priceless memories. It feels like the grieving will never end but it is made a little easier by the memory boxes.

Charles Hanson January 2013.

The six of us Antiques Experts, together with another 11 from the other side of the camera, have decided to enter - and complete – The Great North Run in September. We have chosen 17 runners to symbolise the 17 daily deaths. Our aim is initially to raise as much money as possible for Memory Boxes so that parents struck in the way that Charlie and Rebecca have been may find some comfort. 

We have agreed with SANDS that the first £7,000 raised will be distributed to the Derby SANDS group which will support their supply of memory boxes for 2 - 3 years.  Any additional monies raised will go to support the UK SANDS memory box fund.


About the charity

Sands, the stillbirth and neonatal death charity

Verified by JustGiving

RCN 299679 & SC042789
Sands supports anyone affected by the death of a baby, works in partnership with health professionals to try to ensure that bereaved parents and families receive the best possible care and funds research that could help to reduce the numbers of babies dying and families devastated by this tragedy.

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+ £5,157.03 Gift Aid
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