Genevieve’s daughter, Isabel, died aged 4 months as a result of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome. Genevieve talks about her experience and why she decided to fundraise for Child Bereavement UK. 

 In 2012 the impossible happened, well we thought it was impossible. Our day started out as an ordinary Monday and by 4pm we had lost our youngest child. Our precious 4-month-old, healthy daughter, Isabel died, suddenly and without explanation due to Sudden Infant Death Syndrome.  It is a condition that to this day is largely unexplained with only 1 in 10,000 babies affected.  This wasn’t something that happened to us, or anyone we knew, but it did.

Through love and support and a determination we decided to not let this great tragedy define our lives. Our eldest daughter, Mia, deserved a happy life as well. I can confidently say we not only survived this unthinkable loss but thrived as a family, living a full and, dare I say, happy life, a concept that seemed impossible at the time.

We kept Isabel in our hearts and tried to inspire others through our story.  We went on to have our rainbow baby Ella and to travel the world through work and life, choosing to live the fullest life we could.

We were living in Cape Town in South Africa when this tragedy happened and didn’t have the support of a charity like Child Bereavement UK. This is why when we moved to the UK and  I came across this the charity I knew I had to try to be part of it. What a gift for so many families who have to go though the death of a child!

I always called myself a runner but, truth be told, I never really challenged myself to do much more than a few kilometres now and then. When I moved to the UK, I started running a little more and achieved a few 10 km distance runs. My niece called me one day and said she was entering the Hampton Court Palace Half Marathon and said I should join her.  I had always said I wanted to run a half marathon, so I decided: ‘Why not? It’s now or never’.

I scrolled down the list of charities to choose from and when I came across Child Bereavement UK. I knew immediately this was how I was meant to run this event all along.

I started training a little but, when I finally got around to actually entering the race, there were only charity places left. I didn’t know this was an option, but I loved the idea. I scrolled down the list of charities to choose from and when I came across Child Bereavement UK, I knew immediately this was how I was meant to run this event all along. 

Lizee, the Events Fundraiser, kept checking on me and sent me wonderfully useful information packs plus a very special shirt to run in and a ton of other supporting accessories; I felt truly supported. Like family, Lizee kept checking in on me to see how the training and fundraising

g were going and followed up several times afterwards.

Child Bereavement UK were incredible. They gave me all the information and documentation I needed, from where to start on the training to how to set up a Virgin Money page. Lizee, the Events Fundraiser, kept checking on me and sent me wonderfully useful information packs plus a very special shirt to run in and a ton of other supporting accessories; I felt truly supported. Like family, Lizee kept checking in on me to see how the training and fundraising were going and followed up several times afterwards.

If you’re hesitating - just go for it! It’s so much easier than you think and you have an incredibly supportive and knowledgeable team behind you. Challenging yourself is a great thing but to do it for such a worthy cause will be one of the highlights of your life.

If you’re hesitating - just go for it! It’s so much easier than you think and you have an incredibly supportive and knowledgeable team behind you. Challenging yourself is a great thing, but to do it for such a worthy cause will be one of the highlights of your life.

When you’re fundraising, use your personal connection to the charity and share your story everywhere you can and often. That will be the reason people donate, because they have a personal story to relate to it: your story.

When you’re fundraising, use your personal connection to the charity and share your story everywhere you can and often. That will be the reason people donate, because they have a personal story to relate to it: your story.

 Growing old and living a full life is a privilege denied to so many and we have an obligation to live a life that we can be proud of. A life that challenges us and helps us feel a little more worthy of those we have lost.