CHRISTMAS Day 2012 was a life-changing time for a St Asaph couple when they were given the heartbreaking news that their unborn daughter had died.
Mike and Vicki Wilson, of St Asaph, were told the unexpected news about their eagerly awaited daughter Hollie who was just weeks away from being born.
The next day, Hollie was stillborn and now more than two years on the family are fundraising for Chester-based group, Stillbirth And Neonatal Death Society (SANDS), where bereaved parents meet to share their experiences and offer mutual support.
Vicki, a therapy radiographer at Glan Clwyd Hospital, said: “Belonging to the group has helped us enormously and has enabled us to try to come to terms with our grief and our loss with others who have suffered a similar experience.”
SANDS relies heavily on charitable donations and Mike and Vicki, with a group of their friends, have decided to actively raise funds for the organisation.
An ambitious target of £5,000 has been set and already over £1,900 has been raised through donations and a specially arranged quiz held at The Harp pub in Abergele.
But the couple have an ever bigger ambitious project, a sponsored 24 hour five-a-side football tournament, to be held at St Asaph Leisure Centre on Friday, June 13 from 6pm.
Each player will be on the pitch for a gruelling 10 hours during the session and funds will be raised through sponsorship of the players.
Mike, a chartered insurance broker, explained the effect on the family. He said: “I cannot adequately describe the devastation we felt and the feeling of emptiness we all experienced after looking forward to Hollie’s arrival for so long. It was difficult to explain to our then three-year-old son Aidan why his new sister was not being brought home.”
Following this traumatic time, Mike and Vicki had the support of SANDS and wish to give back to the charity.
Mike added: “It is a daunting task but we are determined to succeed. We are indebted to many people and supportive organisations but I would particularly like to thank the St Asaph Rotary Club for paying the £280 hire costs of the pitch.”
Mark Kane, president of the Rotary Club said: “Mike visited our club and gave an extremely moving account of the anguish he and Vicki still suffer and we are glad to help both with funding and by providing assistance on the day.
“I urge all individuals and local organisations to ‘pitch in’ and support this very worthy cause.”
The marathon session will be followed by a three course dinner and auction of donated prizes and pledges at the Faenol Fawr Hotel, Bodelwyddan. Diners will then have the opportunity to watch England’s first World Cup match against Italy.
The cost of the evening is £20.
If you would like to support the sponsored five-a-side tournament, wish to make a donation or purchase tickets for the charity meal, contact Mike Wilson on 07968 478 850, or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
To learn more about the work of the SANDS charity visit www.uk-sands.org or to learn more about St Asaph Rotary Club contact secretary John Dicks on 01745 583824 or email email@example.com