Over 350 participants will lace up their running shoes on October 19 for the second annual Bridget’s Run, a charity walk/run at Barrie’s Centennial Park in recognition of Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness month.
Last year’s event raised over $33,000 in support of Bridget’s Bunnies, an initiative to provide comfort kits to patients at Royal Victoria Regional Health Centre (RVH) in the days following the loss of a pregnancy or infant. Funds also supported RVH’s Neonatal Intensive Care Unit and Obstetrics Bereavement Program.
Local couple Mat and Theresa Morrison founded both Bridget’s Bunnies and Bridget’s Run in honour of their daughter Bridget who was born still just one day shy of her due date. Their kits include comfort items, memory makers and resources of support to provide gentle direction and compassion to parents who are experiencing loss. In June, the couple expanded the program to include early loss kits for patients in RVH’s Emergency Department who have experienced a pregnancy loss before 20 weeks gestation. Since launching their initiative in September 2018, Bridget’s Bunnies has provided 113 comfort kits to RVH including 65 early loss kits.
“We know we can’t fix or change anything that has taken place for these parents but what we can do is provide a bit of comfort and guidance for them in the early days following their loss,” says Theresa. “Events like Bridget’s Run not only allow us to continue providing comfort kits to RVH and our neighbouring communities but they also provide an opportunity to continue the conversation and spread awareness for pregnancy and infant loss. We are also excited to be raising funds for the renovation and expansion of the birthing unit to help create the best environment for moms and babies and families including supportive spaces for families who do experience loss”
Funds raised through the second annual Bridget’s Run will continue to support the comfort kit program at RVH in addition to raising funds for the RVH Neonatal Intensive Care Unit and Obstetrics Bereavement Program.
“The more we speak of loss and share the information and stories of support, the more women and families will know they are not alone – raising awareness is key,” says Charmaine Smith, manager RVH Birthing Unit and Obstetrics. “We are extremely grateful for the work that Mat and Theresa have done to raise awareness and provide additional support to our patients at RVH. The addition of the Bridget’s Bunnies comfort kits to our unit has been instrumental to initiate conversation between caregivers and patients on a topic that is very painful.”
To join the run, register online at events.runningroom.com and search for Bridget’s Run 2019. Media are invited to contact Mat and Theresa Morrison about Bridget’s Run at email@example.com
Photo (l-r): Leanne Weeks, Charmaine Smith, Amanda Davis and Kim Howe.