June is Sands Awareness Month when we can all come together and raise awareness of miscarriage, stillbirth and newborn death and the importance of support for those who experience the death of a baby through pregnancy or shortly after.Read More »
Sands Queensland is very lucky to have the volunteers we do. Each person brings their own skills and abilities, helping out in different ways to form a fantastic team.Read More »
Bev is another of Sands Queensland’s long time members and volunteers who has contributed an enormous amount of her time and skills, helping to shape Sands into the organisation that it is. Her hard work and dedication to ensuring Sands Queensland is a supportive place for bereaved parents has been her greatest gift to Sands in memory of her daughter Rosalie and son Andrew.Read More »
Marion is one of our long standing Sands members, who has been volunteering with us for about 30 years and fondly refers to herself as ‘the old Sands bag’. Of course she is nothing of the sort. Marion brings her energy and enthusiasm for getting a job done every volunteer day at Sands House and is always a willing listener for new parents and volunteers.Read More »
Guest post by Jodie Tangikara
My name is Jodie Tangikara and I am now the Butterfly Coordinator for Hervey Bay Hospital.
Let me tell you a little about my loss and how I ended up here. On the 22nd September 2012 I delivered my son at 19 weeks 5 days gestation after a 32 hour labour. Marcus was beautiful and only 17cm long and weighing 135g. The following day I was discharged from hospital to go home to my four beautiful children. Twenty four hours later I was placed back into hospital due to lack of blood in my body. After a night in hospital and three bags of blood I was right to go home. Four days later I was rushed back to hospital due to heavy bleeding. Some placenta had been left behind, which caused my body to get a infection. I was taken to surgery for a curet only to flat line on the table due to major blood loss. After two minutes of nurses trying to bring me back I finally had a heartbeat again. I spent the next four days in ICU to be closely monitored. Once I was given the all clear I left hospital to go pick up my sons ashes and go home to my family.
A few months passed and I felt lost and needed to do something. I started a petition to get all babies recognised from the state government and after 18 months I finally accomplished it. Now the Queensland Births Deaths and Marriages issues In Loving Memory Certificates for babies under 20 weeks gestation. I have also raised money for the SCN unit at Hervey Bay Hospital and money for a Cuddle Cot for the Maternity Ward.
I ended up becoming a volunteer for Sands Queensland after speaking to Nicole the Sands Queensland Committee President at the In Loving Memory Certificate launch. Knowing what a difference this beautiful organisation does I wanted to be a part of it and help families in need. I look forward to moving forward with sands and hope I can make a difference.
You can help support Jodie at Marcus’s Butterfly
To learn more about the Sands Queensland Memory Bags, please visit our Website HERE and if you would like to know more about how to become a Butterfly Coordinator in your area, please email Lyndell at firstname.lastname@example.org
Last year saw the first Wave of Polish held during October for International Pregnancy and Infant Loss (IPIL) month. A challenge was issued to paint your nails blue and pink each Tuesday to help raise awareness of pregnancy and infant loss. The event was a success with many showing their support and we hope this year will be bigger and better.
Theresa Carter organised the event and in conjunction with the Wave of Polish campaign she will be holding an auction of one off polishes made by some amazing Australian Indies and also some gorgeous pastels from amazing Australian polish brands. The auction will start on the 8th October at 9am and finish on the 15th October. Visit WAVE OF POLISH BLOGSPOT for all the details.
Last year funds raised were donated to Sands Australia and helped fund ‘Grace’s Gathering’, in memory of Theresa and Rod’s daughter Grace. These meetings gave the wonderful volunteer parent supporters at Sands an opportunity to connect with other supporters, share ideas and support, and receive further training to enable them to better support bereaved parents
At the beginning of each gathering a poem written by Theresa was read out. Each and everyone of us were touched by Theresa’s words and we would like to thank her for sharing a part of Grace with us and bringing us all together.
The following is the poem written by Theresa in memory of her daughter Grace.
You say just get over it.
You weren’t there the day we held our daughter, in our arms the first and the last time.
You say haven’t you grieved enough?
You weren’t there to rub her face as she struggled to cling on to life.
You say you can have another one.
You weren’t there to answer yes, turn life support off on this child, of yours,
Your child part of YOU.
You say time will fix all.
You weren’t there to watch her take her last breath, while your heart shattered into 1000 pieces.
You say its time to move on.
You weren’t there when I was aching, screaming and rocking in pain at night,
just to hold my baby,
just one more touch.
You say she wouldn’t want me to be sad.
You weren’t there the days I ripped at the grass on her grave, just wanting to see her face one more time
You say I have another child, life must be normal for him.
You weren’t there the nights I rocked him to sleep, as he wanted his little sister.
You say you must look after your husband.
You weren’t there the days I wiped tears, from his face just so he could get to work.
You say it all over and over again,
I know you mean well and I forgive you,
because you weren’t there…..
Theresa 28th September 2003
This is the first time our group in Cairns has undertaken a big fundraising drive like this. At first raising just over $3000 seemed really daunting and we thought we might just raise the money in time for the Walk to Remember in October. However the community response to this has been amazing, not only did we raise enough money for the cold-cot, we also raised enough to buy a good quality camera, a stock of USB sticks and some printing accessories to go with it.
We would like to say a huge thank you to all the people in the community who made donations to the Everyday Hero pages. Without their donations we wouldn’t have been able to make this worthwhile purchase for the hospital. It was really clear from the fundraising pages that a large proportion of the donors were bereaved parents themselves, family members, or knew someone that had experienced the death of a baby. Everyone who donated was so supportive of the purchase of the unit.
We would also like to say thank you to all the people who facilitated the everyday hero pages where the donations came through: Kate who raised funds through Team Fletcher, Melissa who raised funds through Team Harry and Nerissa’s Team Milaya who facilitated the Cold Cot for Cairns Base page. Rachelle Johnson also participated in the Cairns 70.3 and raised money in the process. Rachelle received fantastic support from the community and in particular Bluewater, a local Cairns business, made a sizeable donation towards the cause. Also thank you to the midwives from the birth suite that held a sausage sizzle and donated the funds towards the cot and to everyone in the Sands crew who manned the car-boot sale stall.
As with many things at Sands Queensland the process of this fundraiser has been just as important as the goal. For Sands Queensland it’s about starting conversations around pregnancy and infant loss and raising awareness that support is out there for families. This fundraiser allowed us to achieve that.
We feel extremely proud that we have staff here at the Cairns hospital who understand how important it is for parents to have choices about how, when and how much time they would like to spend with their baby. That’s exactly what this unit will do, it will give parents choices.
What an amazing achievement Cairns, well done!!!
This year’s theme for National Volunteer Week (NVW) is ‘The Power of Volunteers’. What a great theme for Sands, since Sands is powered by volunteers. Without all our wonderful volunteers we couldn’t reach out through the Queensland community like we do.
To celebrate NVW, we want to show you how each piece of what someone does contributes to a whole. How what each person does matters; how Sands achieves its mission support parents and families who experience the death of their baby before, during or after birth.
In 2013, a number people participated in the Bridge to Brisbane. Some formed teams, some ran as individuals but all made an outstanding effort to raise awareness and funds for Sands Queensland. Through the Every Day Hero page these participants set up donation pages to get their message out and ask for support and support is what they got – $30,000 was raised!
Thanks to these volunteers, Sands was able to hold Parent Support Training in two locations – Cairns and Brisbane. Regional Contact, Parent Supporter and Sands Queensland Committee member, Nerissa Healy, ran the training days, resulting in 4 new parents supporters for the support phone lines, email support and support groups.
Last year 350 support calls, 314 emails and 82 support meetings were held providing essential support services, and a place for bereaved parents to express their grief.
Volunteers power the support services at Sands Queensland. From the fundraisers who raise vital funds, to the long term volunteers who dedicate their time and skills, to the newly recruited volunteers making a commitment to carry on the Sands motto of parents supporting parents.
Thank you to all our volunteers!
If you would like to share your volunteering story, please use #NVW2014 and #NVWSands or post your comments and photos on our wall at http://www.facebook.com/SandsQld
The countdown is on for the Bridge to Brisbane here in Queensland. Three weeks to go and I am glad I only signed up for the half distance of 5km!
We have 12 members in Team Sands Queensland, some of us walking, some of us running, some doing the 5km and superstars doing the 10km. There is also the Running for Riley Team, headed by Lee and Kelly, and a list of individuals who have all signed up on behalf of Sands Queensland. It’s is very exciting to see so many getting involved and raising money for Sands.
Leading up to the event we will share some of the stories behind the competitors and their motivation for taking part. Make sure you stop by and give them encouragement and support.