This year is set to be a big one for us as a family mainly due to me and my big mouth!
For the last few years I have talked about stepping outside my comfort zone and running The Great North Run in 2015 as this would be around Alexander's (and Harrison's) tenth birthday. Double figures it quite a milestone I've always thought, a decade of life, of growing up but before the reality of being a teenager sets in and all that starting 'big school' brings.
Anyone that knows me knows I don't run, I set up Alexander's Charity Ball precisely for that reason, I'm happy dancing and spending time with friends not pounding the pavements in running gear. So that was it or so I thought. It didn't really seem enough and then an enlightening conversation with Francine, The Lullaby Trust's CEO gave me my answer.
No one knows why any of these babies die from Sudden Infant Death syndrome but we know there are risk factors for younger babies and there are things we can do to 'Reduce the Risk'. We know this because of research but if your baby dies and they are over the age of 1 then what? These Risk factors don't really come into play and as much as The Lullaby Trust are there to support and console they cannot offer any answers.
If you are a reader of my blog or follow me on Facebook or Twitter you will know that research has been my biggest fundraising motivator and up to now there hasn't been any specific research into the deaths of Over 1's but now there is the possibility that someone wants to help parents like us begin to understand why our toddlers never woke from their sleep.
Professor Neil Sebire is a leading Paediatric Pathologist at Great Ormond Street Hospital and he has research waiting to start but he can't unless he receives funding of £100,000 and herein lies the challenge.
I now know that this research is tangible, How can I sit back and not so my utmost to raise this money? It's what I've been working towards for 7 years but I am under no illusion that this is going to be easy, far from it and so I'm asking for help and lots of it from people like you.
Over the year from September 2014 to September 2015 we will be holding lots and lots of fundraisers, Runs, Walks, Cake Sales, Tea Party's, Fund Days etc etc but I also need others to do the same. If you have ever thought about doing something for charity then please please for this year think about doing it for our cause nothing is too big or too small, a collection box in your office or a fancy dress day at work, every thing will help us inch closer and closer to our target.
Please get in touch if you'd like to help in any way and give our Facebook page a like the more people we can tell about the challenge the more people that will help
The Lullaby Trust provides specialist support for bereaved families, promotes expert advice on safer baby sleep and supports research to understand why babies die suddenly and unexpectedly. 300 babies a year are affected by Sudden Infant Death Syndrome in the UK and Alexander’s 100k Challenge will raise funds for the research to identify common markers in babies dying over the age of 12 months. In the unlikely event that more money is raised than can be reasonably and efficiently spent on this research project, any surplus funds will be used for The Lullaby Trust’s other core activities including bereavement support & promoting our safer sleep messages.