Heartfelt reason to get silly for Red Nose Day
MORE than 3,000 babies pass away each year unexpectedly from sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), and this year people from all over the Bellarine, Surf Coast and Geelong regions are continuing their support of Red Nose Day.
Red Nose Day on Friday, August 13 is a fun way for people to get silly and unite together to help prevent and determine the causes of SIDS-related deaths.
Organisations across the region continue to participate in festivities including Woodlands House Childcare Centre in Ocean Grove to support families directly affected by SIDS.
Centre director Teri Dodds said Red Nose Day is a special day to the Woodlands community.
“We have had many families who have suffered the loss of children from SIDS at both of our centres in Ocean Grove and Point Lonsdale,” Ms Dodds said.
“We want to be there to support those families through those tragic times and keep the awareness going.”
Story House in Lara will host a Red Nose dress-up day encouraging children to wear red clothes and raise money.
“People should continue to get around this initiative to support the children that need the fundraising,” Story House educator Abbey Todd said.
“There is always more work and always more research to be done, to help the next generation of little people that are going to be taking over the world.”
There are many stories of local parents who have gone through tragedies related to SIDS, including Lara resident Sarah Bryant.
After giving birth to her first son in 2013, Ms Bryant was told that she could no longer conceive naturally due to going through early menopause.
Ms Bryant wanted to have more children so her sister selflessly donated her eggs through IVF, allowing Sarah and her husband Jarrod to have two more children.
Sadly, their second child Raya was stillborn at 32 weeks on June 27, 2015.
Sarah then gave birth to her second son in 2016 via IVF with donor eggs from her sister.
Ocean Grove resident Amie Rohan, who is an official Red Nose ambassador, had twins in 2018, but sadly one of the twins, Willow, passed away five hours after her birth.
“Coming on board with Red Nose is something very dear to my heart,” Ms Rohan said.
“I did not know half the services that they offered when I met with them earlier in the year, they do so much behind the scenes.
“It’s quite overwhelming, but it’s very heart-warming that they approached me.”
Red Nose has had a profound impact on Ms Rohan, who has since had another daughter Sadie Rose, and she credits Red Nose with helping her cope with the loss of her daughter.
“If you had have asked me to talk about the struggles I have been through that come with losing a child, say either one or two years ago, I would not have been able to put into words what I was feeling,” Ms Rohan said.
“For me to speak up about child loss, grief, mental health, post-natal struggles and show others that healing isn’t linear, there is a light at the end of the tunnel.
“Red Nose has given me the strength to just show others that you can be in a sh** place, but you can also come out the other side.”
Ms Rohan is partnering with kids’ dancewear label Flo to design a tutu dress in honour of Willow in October this year, with all funds raised going straight to Red Nose.
Red Nose has raised just under $300,000 this year, which will support lifesaving education and safe pregnancy programs, free 24/7 counselling and bereavement support services for families, and allow for greater investment in vital research.
For more info on Red Nose Day head to rednoseday.org.au.