sarahkeenihan

The gift of a baby boy

In November 2014 on November 18, 2014 at 8:08 am

running River

Sarah: Yesterday my 11-year old son learnt that sometimes apparently healthy babies go to bed….and never wake up.

Karl Waddell’s baby boy River died on the 7th of November 2011 at the age of 128 days. We met Karl at the Henley Classic running event, where he was manning the River’s Gift (Stamp Out SIDS) stall to raise funds for research aimed at Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, or SIDS.

It was only the freakishly cold winds that lead us to chat. To avoid enduring the 5km jog with bare arms, my son pointed out that Karl was selling lightweight tops with those cool hook-your-thumb-in-option long sleeves. We had a look, Karl told us about River and it seemed a very good idea to buy the shirt.

Apart from the fact that Karl was a lovely bloke, and in addition to the notion that he was making something positive from his loss, I was impressed to read of the way that funds were being directed through the charity. Taken from their marketing material:

Rivers Gift’s primary objective is to fund world leading SIDS Research and make a formidable contribution to the discovery of a cure for this heartbreaking loss of life.

With the help of our sponsors, our primary goal is to raise a minimum of $250,000 per year and in April 2014 we launched River’s International SIDS collaboration between Harvard University – Boston, The Florey Institute of Neuroscience and Mental Health – Melbourne and The University of Adelaide.

The existence of a direct relationship between this kind of fundraising and specific research institutions is a good thing in my opinion. You can read more details of the goals of the fundraising program here.

Thanks for telling us about your baby boy, Karl.

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