Dads go miles to support families who've lost babies

Last updated 12:00 20/01/2014

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Three men are to subject themselves to a gruelling weekend of physical endurance to support families affected by miscarriages and stillbirths, and some Hurricanes rugby team members are expected to be there to cheer them on.

In the fourth Miles in Memory event, to be held at the Women's Lifestyle Expo in May, three fathers of unborn children will ride stationary cycles for 30 hours to raise funds for families who have lost a baby during or after pregnancy.

"Our aim for the event is to make it bigger than last year and raise enough funds to break last year's record of $6000," Gaylene Vivian, the co-ordinator of Sands Manawatu/Horowhenua, said.

Sands is a volunteer organisation that supports families who have lost babies.

"We get no government funding whatsoever," Mrs Vivian said.

"We have to raise our own funds and apply for grants."

She said the group always invited well-known people to appear at the event to show their support.

"We have been told that some of the Hurricanes Super rugby team will be joining us at some point over the weekend. Their coach, Mark Hammett, is very supportive. So we have had a good start."

The group has two fathers of unborn children lined up for the event, one of whom is Mrs Vivian's husband, Shaun, who will be taking part for the third time.

"We are still looking for a third dad. If we can't find the third dad, we have a 13-year-old boy who wants to do it in memory of his twin brother.

"Dads often feel left out [at the loss of a baby], as the focus is usually on the mum. It's important for us to support them," Mrs Vivian said.

The group was also hoping to get some support from businesses.

"We'd like a gym to get involved to help the dads with training."

Anyone needing further information or wanting to get involved can phone Mrs Vivian on 027 590 3444.

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- Manawatu Standard

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