Each year we do not only run for Henry, Jasper & Evan. On our team we have mums, dads, aunties, uncles, brothers and sisters running in memory of their own babies who have passed away. Many people also make donations in memory of babies close to them who have died.
Wonderfully, we also run to celebrate special children who have overcome their premature start to life, and many donations are made in thanks and celebration for these beautiful kids.
Below are some of the stories of these special children that inspire our team. Scroll down the page to view a video tribute to all the special children we celebrated in 2013.
Xavier Green: Born 25 October 2010, 26 weeks, 1kg
Read the plight of Xavier who survived 11 weeks in the Royal’s Neonatal ICU, spending 6 of those weeks in a humidicrib, 7 weeks on breathing machines and 9 weeks on monitors. Happily Xavier arrived home 2 weeks before his due date. Proud parents, Peter and Anna Green, ran with the team in 2012, 2013 and 2014 and will be back in 2016.
Griff Sullivan: Born 14 January 2011, full term, 3.2kg
It’s not only premature babies who call the Royal’s NICU home. Amazingly enough one of the team’s Hall of Fame runners, James Sullivan, saw firsthand where his fundraising money had been spent when Griff, his firstborn son, used one of the humidicribs bought by the team after struggling with pneumonia at one day old.
Lucy McVie: Born 21 October 2005, 28 weeks, 990g
After reading Sophie’s inspiring story in January 2012, Lucy’s mum, Danielle, relived her own scary experience when, following severe preeclampsia, Lucy was delivered prematurely – saving both of their lives. After 10 weeks in hospital, Lucy went home. Danielle and Michelle Lidgard, Lucy’s Grandmother, now run in the team every year as they know, firsthand, how vital life saving equipment is to a happy outcome like they experienced with Lucy.
Grace Findlay: Born 2 March 2001, 24 weeks, 650g
Be moved by the story of ‘Amazing Grace” who entered the world at such a frighteningly early gestation that her eyes were yet to open and her skin translucent. After calling the Royal’s NICU home for nearly 4 months, Grace went home two days before her due date, weighing 2.1kgs. See how her Mum, Belinda, runs for many reasons including celebrating Grace’s life and being forever grateful to the Royal that Grace survived relatively unscathed.
Zahara, Lalibella and Myles Gregory: Born 12 April 2011, 30 weeks
An incredible story of survival of three triplets whose early entry into the world at just 30 weeks led to a 74-day stay in the Royal’s NICU. It’s not only their stay at the Royal that began their Mum Phoebe’s bond with the RFPB team, but the amazing fact that the equipment bought by the team kept her three triplets alive and the incredibly inspiring way that Sophie has turned her tragic experience into something so very positive.
Alexander Pusey: Born 18 October 2008, 26 weeks, 540g, Died 15 November
Read how Alex truly was a ‘leader of men’ during his short but very inspiring life, courageously fighting every challenge he confronted, and all procedures he endured. The care and support of the NICU doctors and nurses shines through in this very emotional story. So does his Dad, Paul’s dedication to keep Alex’s memory alive in his heart and to help give other parents a better chance of bringing their precious babies home.
Abigail Ziaziaris: Born and died 30 October 2012, 22 weeks, 450g
This is a heart-wrenching story of the loss of Carolyn and Angelo’s second born and much longed-for baby daughter Abigail, at just 22 weeks and 2 days gestation. Appearing perfectly formed right down to her fingertips, sadly, Abi was too premature to survive. Find out how Angelo and Carolyn run for this amazing cause in the hope that fewer parents will have to face the unspeakable tragedy of going home from hospital without their newborn baby.
Abby Prentice: Born 14 July 2000, 24 weeks, 470g
Abby Prentice is a true miracle. You need to read her story to believe the number of procedures and surgeries Abby endured, and the breathing difficulties she faced that meant she went home on oxygen and an apnoea monitor. Now a healthy high school student, Abby’s mum, Polly, supports the team to celebrate the lives of premature babies who’ve survived and to remember all of those who died.
Harrison Drewery: Born 20 May 2011, 31 weeks, 1.8kgs
Harrison’s story shows how many mysteries surround premature birth. Spending 8 weeks in hospital was an unexpected journey that his proud parents will never forget. See how, thankfully, Harrison’s relatively healthy weight at birth saw him literally sail through his time in hospital, practically re-writing the premature ‘handbooks’, and how grateful his parents are for the equipment that helped Harrison to survive.
Olivia and Maisie Wardle: Born and died May 1997
Losing twins during childbirth following a complication that only occurs in twin pregnancies was an experience their Mum, Hayley, will never forget. Finding Sophie’s RFPB team ten years later, in 2007, was the perfect way to honour her girls’ memory so close to their 10th birthdays. Read on to see how Hayley was the first person to join Sophie’s first ever half marathon team and how after a short stint working overseas, Hayley re-joined in 2012.
Gabriel Ben: Born in 2006, 29 weeks, 1.06 kg
Learn how Marsha and Michael Ben were thrown into the frightening world of the NICU, after their son Gabriel was born at 29 weeks, due to Marsha’s preeclampsia. What followed was an extreme rollercoaster ride of emotions and challenges, worrying and waiting. Thankfully, Gabriel went home after 9 weeks, weighing 2.3kgs. Read on to see why his parents proudly run with the RFPB team.
Elizabeth Thomson: Born 4 January 2013, term, 4.4kgs
Elizabeth’s story is a reminder that not all of the babies in the Royal’s NICU are so tiny. Some are very big like Elizabeth, but they are also critically ill. Follow Elizabeth’s one-month journey though the Royal’s NICU, suffering from meconium in her lungs. See how her Mum, Leah, now runs to help raise money to care for babies – both big and small.
Issaac Bourne: Born 27 October 2012, died November 2012
Isaac was born 16 weeks prematurely on 27 October 2012. He was born suddenly, after a perfectly normal pregnancy. We were lucky enough to be transferred to RHW for his birth, where they were able to look after him in the NICU. Isaac was big for his age, but three weeks into his journey he became unwell with an infection which he was unable to beat, and he sadly passed away.
Archie Cordwell: Born 2014, 30 weeks, 1.6kgs
Archie's parents hadn't even started anti-natal classes when he was born and his due date was May 18, 2014 - Race Day!
Read all about Archie's early arrival, journey through the NICU and how the amazing work of the NICU's doctors and nurses inspired Archie's dad to run the 21.1kms on his 'zero birthday.
Lucy McDonnell: Born 30 May, 2009, 25 weeks
Discover Lucy's inspiring journey from arriving at 25 weeks, spending 137 days in the Newborn Care Centre and enduring numerous neurological procedures.
Now aged five she is the apple of her parents' eyes, a big sister to William, pre-school pupil and singing and dancing star.
Alistair Power: Born 2011, 27 weeks, 890g
When Alistair arrived at 27 weeks gestation in London, it was the beginning of a tough journey for his parents and three siblings.
But after a rough first three weeks Alistair grew stronger with each day, eventually came home and grew in to a healthy three year old. Discover Alistair's story and the location that his dad was in when he found out Alistair was going to arrive early (and the very expensive taxi ride that followed!).
Rory O’Driscoll: Born 22 August 2014, 28 weeks, 685g
Rory arrived in the world at 24 weeks, weighing in at just 685g.
But after a 13-week stay in the Royal's NICU, during which his parents participated in the Family Integrated Care trial (providing all non-medical care to Rory), he finally was able to go home weighing 2.02kgs.
Some three months on, he is a huge 4kg, no longer requires oxygen and is a happy, smiling little man.
When Rory's parents realised that the first humidicrib he used in the NICU was donated by Running for Premature Babies, the decision to run with us in 2015 was made.
Read Rory's full story here.
Archie Seamus Craig: Born 11 Feb 2015, 1.1 kgs
Archie is our newest addition to Special Children and at the time of writing (February 2015), he is staying at the Royal's NICU, getting stronger every day.
He is making great progress and his big brother Finlay is eagerly awaiting the day that Archie no longer has to live in his 'super-duper spaceship' and come home to play.
Read Archie's full story here
Maya Summerside: Born November 30, 2011, 30 weeks
After a challenging pregnancy, Maya arrived in the world at 30 weeks.
She was born so strong and healthy and was only on CPAP for one day, in the humidicrib for three days and had 6 weeks in hospital before coming home at 37 weeks' gestation.
More than three years later she's a happy, cheeky (and stubborn) little girl.
On an interesting note, she was born at 11.25am on 30/11/11, she was in crib #11, came home on 11th January and her hospital MRN started with the number 11!
Read Maya's full story here.
Mia Ezawa: Born January 8, 2014, 2324 grams
Mia Ezawa was born full term on 8th January 2014, weighing 2324 grams. She was delivered through C-section due to frank breech presentation.
During 7 months of pregnancy, the doctor was suspecting some abnormalities with Mia's growth. Since then I was in high risk pregnancy. After having Fetal Echocardiography and MRI scans, I was told that Mia might have the condition called Hydrocephalus, which is treatable after birth.
On the day of Mia's birth, her appearance looked perfect like a healthy baby, but we found out that she couldn't cry and couldn't swallow her own saliva. Her throat was very narrow and her lungs were not strong enough to cry. She needed to be fully taken care of in NICU at Japanese Red Cross hospital.
Mia was fed expressed breast milk through a tube to her stomach, a ventilator (breathing machine) was needed in order to regulate her breathing, and phlegm suction was constantly done to remove her accumulated saliva and phlegm that interfered with her breathing. It was really hard to watch her suffering and shedding tears during each suction almost every hour.
Read Mia's full story here
Chiara Grace Sedgers: Born and died 9 November 2009, 22 weeks, 430g
Our precious Chiara was born on 9 November 2009. All 430 grams of her and perfectly formed in each and every way.
Sadly, she was born prematurely at 22 weeks gestation (18 weeks early) and at that stage of a pregnancy it’s too early for foetal survival or medical intervention and so our baby girl passed peacefully after 8 precious minutes in our arms.
Read Chiara's full story here
Luke's Story : Born December 26th, 2002, 29 weeks, 1280 gms
We were due with our first baby - a boy, on the 5th day of March 2003. At 28 weeks my waters broke and I was rushed off to Gosford Hospital then onto John Hunter, where they cater for preemies born up to 34 weeks.
There I was given steroids to develop our babies lungs, and another drug that assists in prolonging the onset of labor. After 5 days of keeping him in my tummy with minimal fluid, they stopped this drug and the following day I went into labour and our boys heartbeat was erratic.
Read Luke's full story here.