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Bereaved dad channels grief into extreme stillbirth charity fundraising challenge

stillbirth charity fundraising

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Bereaved dad, Ben Moorhouse of Halifax in West Yorkshire, will take on a colossal 206-mile nonstop extreme challenge stillbirth charity fundraising walk next July. The 39-year-old will walk from Edinburgh to the Tommy’s Rainbow Clinic and Maternal and Fetal Health Research Centre at Saint Mary’s Hospital in Manchester without any sleep, hoping to complete the task in 68 hours or less and raise £10,000 to save babies’ lives.

This new challenge follows Ben’s heroics from July 2022, when he successfully walked nonstop from London to Manchester which was a total of 180 miles in just 55 hours during the record-breaking UK heatwave, with the roads melting from underneath him.

Ben’s story

In October 2018 Ben’s daughter Kallipateira was stillborn at 38 weeks of pregnancy, before he and partner Gaynor Thompson experienced a miscarriage in May 2019 at nine weeks of pregnancy.

Kallipateira’s death was fully preventable and, as a result, Ben and Gaynor launched their own charity to help save babies’ lives through research and support other parents who have experienced the death of a baby.

Following the stillbirth of their daughter and miscarriage, they knew if they wanted to have the best chance of another child with a better outcome, they needed the care of Professor Alexander Heazell of the Tommy’s Rainbow Clinic and Maternal and Fetal Health Research Centre in Manchester.

On May 23rd, 2020, Ben and partner Gaynor Thompson gave birth to their Rainbow baby boy Apollon in Manchester. Apollon survived due to the love and specialist care from Professor Heazell and his team. The full pregnancy was a kept a secret from family and friends.

To help save babies lives nationally in the UK Professor Heazell and his team are now the main beneficiary of The Kallipateira Moorhouse Foundation.

Bereaved dad walk finish

Extreme challenges for stillbirth charity fundraising

Ben has launched himself into taking on challenges for stillbirth charity fundraising. The walk from Edinburgh to Manchester will be his biggest extreme challenge yet. All funds from the walk will go directly to Professor Heazell and his team to support research to help save babies’ lives.

During National Grief Awareness Week, Ben is an example of someone dealign with grief by channeling it into something positive. He said, “every day in the UK there are on average seven babies stillborn and many of these deaths could have been prevented. These are beautiful fully developed babies who should be alive. As a grieving dad who each day feels the pain of Kallipeteira’s devastating death, I must now push limits even further and raise more vital funds for Professor Heazell and his team to support research so that other families nationally don’t have to experience the pain that we do every day.”

“The biggest challenge I face is not the walk but raising the money because baby death is what I call the world’s biggest phobia – when most people hear about it, they will cross the street, turn the page or change the channel over. I am prepared to put myself through the mill again with next year’s extreme challenge for everyone’s families, but I really do need everyone’s support. I would like to ask the media and public to please support me in my quest to raise as much as possible to help save babies’ lives nationally.”

Professor Heazell of Tommy’s Stillbirth Research Centre

Professor Alexander Heazell said: “Last year it was my privilege to walk with Ben for the last 21 miles of his amazing long-distance walk from London to the Tommy’s Manchester Stillbirth Research Centre. His achievement was amazing, and we are so grateful for the Kallipateira Moorhouse Foundation for their ongoing support in our research, their funding has enabled us to investigate partners’ needs in pregnancy after loss and to develop specialist information for women who don’t use English as their first language. I am looking forward to walking with Ben on this Bigger and Braver walk. He deserves so much support for his effort in memory of his daughter.”

You can support Ben on his JustGiving page.

 

What’s the most extreme thing you have done for fundraising? Let us know in the Comments

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