Memorial website in the memory of your loved one
His legacy
some of my favourite photos to music  

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HO77hL8xiMM

 


OUR JASPER'S EULOGY  


Words cannot describe our sadness at losing our sweet baby Jasper, our helplessness to save his life, and our despair at letting our third baby go. However, we are so grateful to have been given 58 precious days to get to know him, and the treasured memories of our darling baby will be with us forever.

From the moment his little foot booted through his mum’s cervix at 24 weeks gestation and he made an emergency entrance into the world with his brother Evan, Jasper proved himself to be a true fighter, but also a gentle little soul.

Jasper loved to use his hands, to stretch them over his head, to grab his face and to twist and wave. He soon discovered his thumb which he would push past his tubes to suck on. Jasper also loved to hold our hands. He loved his dad to hold his head and stroke his temple to comfort him when he was upset. He would often reach his hand above his head at this time to hold on to one of his dad’s fingers.

On his twelfth day we got to know our sweet Jazzy Jasper in a whole new way when he opened his eyes for the first time. Actually he opened his right eye - we were turning him over from his tummy onto his back, when we saw one big beady bright blue eye looking back at us. I think we woke all the other babies in Intensive Care with our gasps and cheers. We fell in love with him on a whole new level at that moment, and we spent the day marvelling at what a beautiful soul we could see through that right eye. This was particularly special as our darling Henry and Evan never had the chance to show us their eyes.

Another happy day was the day after Henry and Evan’s funeral, when Jasper had his one and only real suckle from his mum. Neither Jasper or I could believe it – cuddling each other, with his tiny face buried in my boob. He took a few strong sucks while holding on firmly with his little hands. We were amazed that he knew exactly what to do, and he loved it. A treasured memory.

Because of his illness, taking Jasper out of his crib for cuddles was rare – daddy had three holds and mummy had four during his life. Jasper loved each of these as much as we did, and each time he was wide awake, gazing into our eyes while we sang him nursery rhymes.

Many hours were spent sitting by Jasper’s cot, singing to him, making up poems and stories about Jasper and his triplet brothers, telling him about all the wonderful things he had to look forward to – the park, the beach, toys, friends, his cat.

From his very first day, Jasper loved his mummy’s milk, which he received through a tube into his stomach, and it was these hefty meals that enabled him to put on almost a kilo in his 8 weeks, growing from a tiny 760 g to a chunky little 1.74kg.

Jasper needed to be ventilated with a tube into his lungs for much of his life, and had to endure daily blood tests and IV drips. He put up with all this discomfort bravely, never crying or making any fuss. All of his doctors commented on how placid, sweet and gentle he was. Everyone in the Newborn Care Centre loved Jasper, and he made many friends among the nurses and doctors during his life.

Jasper showed a real spirit and he knew what he liked. Like any little boy, Jasper hated having his face washed and would push us away with his little hands and screw up his face during ‘cares’. He liked having his nappy changed, and would always save a wee for the second after the old nappy was off and before the new one was on!

Our little boy put up the greatest of fights to stay with us but in the end it was just too much to ask of him. For the rest of our lives we will always be able to draw inspiration from the amazing fight and spirit that each of our boys showed. We are comforted to think that wherever they are now, little Henry, Jasper and Evan are getting up to mischief – three triplet boys destined to stick together. 



Henry & Evan's eulogy - 22 Sep 06  
Our beloved triplet boys Henry Jasper and Evan made a very early entry into this world and each proved themselves as real miracles. When Henry’s waters broke at 21 weeks gestation we were told that we would deliver three babies too young to be born alive. Henry arrived four days later weighing 430 grams and measuring 25cm. Despite his extreme prematurity he lived for one hour in our arms and his tiny hands held on tightly to ours. He looked just like his daddy and he taught us a love that we have never before known. He was perfect.

Against the odds Jasper and Evan did not follow their big brother into the world that day. With prayers for them from all over the world as well as the wonderful care from the doctors and midwives at the Royal Hospital for Women they were able to wait another three weeks to be born. Jasper and Evan arrived safely by emergency caesarian just after 2am on 20th augustus. Jasper weighed 760 grams and was 31cm long and Evan weighed 620grams and was 33cm long. By the end of his first week Evan developed a number of serious complications and infections which he fought bravely but which ultimately proved too much for him. Our hearts broke the day a brain haemmorage shortened our darling Evan’s life to just 10 days.

Today we let go the hopes and dreams we’ve held for Henry and Evan yet they will never be forgotten by us the proudest parents of triplets. Jasper will always feel the strength of his older and younger triplet brothers who we believe will always be close by him on his difficult journey ahead.

HALF MARATHON 2007  

RUNNING FOR A HUMIDICRIB IN MEMORY OF HENRY JASPER AND EVAN 2007

The idea for a ‘humidicrib’ half marathon team in memory of my precious sons Henry Jasper and Evan came not long after Jasper’s funeral. When contemplating the terrible empty months ahead a friend suggested getting fit. ‘Run a marathon or something’ she said. That day a seed was planted which resulted in a team of 98 people running the Sydney Morning Herald Half Marathon last Sunday 20 Mei ‘for a humidicrib’ for the Newborn Intensive Care Centre at the Royal Hospital for Women.

I was amazed when the very first person to contact me and officially join my team was Hayley. Hayley rang me just minutes after I had sent out the first flyers looking for runners. She told me about her beautiful identical twin daughters Olivia and Maisie who had died shortly after their birth nearly ten years ago. Hayley told me she wanted to run with me and help raise money so that we may save others from sharing our pain.

From that day on I was overwhelmed by the many lovely emails and phone calls that I received from both friends and complete strangers wanting to join me in running for a humidicrib in memory of my sons. Everybody had a story and a personal reason for running. Kevin and Kyle had spent several weeks in the Newborn Care Centre following the premature birth of their son Harrison now six. Joel and Jennifer had both begun their own lives in humidicribs as premature babies themselves. Many told me that my baby boys and their struggle to live had inspired them to train and run the half marathon with me.

Our team consisted of runners of all abilities from elite tri-athletes and marathon runners to others who had never run before. The determination and dedication of everyone on the team was admirable – many joined me for a group training run around Centennial Park each Wednesday evening turning up whatever the weather! Michael a personal trainer and team member offered his services free of charge on a Sunday morning and Joe organised a Saturday morning training session.

The evening before the race 50 members of the team met at Coogee Café for a carbo-loading pasta supper. This was a great opportunity to talk race tactics! Con and the Coogee Café generously hosted the supper at cost price as well as donating $1 from each person back to our fund. The Coogee Café also collected donations from their customers towards our fund over the race weekend.

As race day morning dawned butterflies set in as we made our way to the starting line in The Rocks. Here we met up with the other members of the team and after some bleary-eyed group photos we took our place with the other 4900 entrants.

As we set off over the start line and ran under the bridge with the Opera House coming into view on a sunny Sydney morning I thought of my Henry Jasper and Evan and how wonderful a gift their short lives were. Seeing so many bright blue shirts bearing Henry Jasper and Evan’s names along with their beautiful life-sized handprints was all the inspiration I needed to run the 21.1km ahead of me.

Soon our 98 runners had spread throughout the 5000-strong pack but due to the lay-out of the course and being a two lap event we were never far from each other. There was always a sense of reassuring team camaraderie calling out encouraging words and waves to each other as we passed. The whole way around the course there were people lining the streets cheering us on.

I am glad to say that I managed to narrowly avoid being lapped by the winner. Just as I was nearing the halfway point (which is also the finish line) at 55 minutes I felt excitement mounting and heard anticipated cheers for Brett Cartwright of Canberra approaching the finish!

By the time I reached the 17km mark my legs were exhausted and my head began to pound. I was still running but felt like I wasn’t actually moving – rather like running in a dream. At 18km however I gathered speed as I felt the three tiny pairs of hands on my back push me up the final hill and it was certainly Henry Jasper and Evan who got me over the finish line in an unexpectedely respectable time of 113 minutes! The atmosphere there was really amazing with Ash and a whole group of friends among the crowds cheering us to the finsih.

That afternoon we had a party for the team at the Beach Palace Hotel in Coogee who were the generous sponsors of our shirts. Penelope Hess CEO of the RHW Foundation was there to announce that the pre-race donations were already up to $35000! Two weeks later and this amount has risen to an incredible $68000! ($60000 if equivalent to THREE humidicribs!)
Thank you to all you generous sponsors of our ‘humidicrib team’ who have made this fundraising event such an enormous success. I am overjoyed at the support people have shown in tribute to my 3 boys and the fundraising effort.
Love Sophie



The 2008 Half Marathon Team  

My 2008 Half Marathon team for the ‘Henry, Jasper & Evan Smith Trust Fund’, Royal Hospital for Women


When I set out to look for people to join my second annual team to run the half marathon and ‘help save tiny babies’, in memory of my triplets sons, the response I got was incredible. After months of hard training and fundraising, 130 people lined up at the start line on 18 May in our red team shirts to run the 21.1km Sydney Morning Herald Half Marathon for the ‘Henry, Jasper and Evan Smith Trust Fund’ at the Royal Hospital for Women.

The expected heavy rain and strong winds never materialised on race day. As my team gathered bright and early in Hyde Park for some frosty team photos with Alex Porter, our volunteer photographer, I couldn’t help but think that the sunshine was my Henry, Jasper and Evan smiling down on us.

The team made their way to the start line and quickly dispersed amongst the 6000 other participants. The gun sounded and they were off up College St, and soon all 6000 runners had disappeared into the city. I took my place with other spectators along Art Gallery Rd, and in a ridiculously short space of time the winning runner was flying past, having completed his first lap of the City! A few minutes later and the front running pack was there, our first team runner not far behind. From then on my eight-month-baby-bump and I jumped and cheered and waved as each of our runners came past – from the fittest and fastest to those for whom the course was a huge personal challenge. The determination and dedication shown by so many was truly insiring, and humbling. So many told me afterwards that it was their thoughts of Henry, Jasper & Evan, and their brave struggle to live, that kept them going. Many told me that the tiny handprints on their backs literally pushed them up the hills and over the finish line. A highlight for me was seeing my husband, Ash, sprinting the final stretch to come in seconds under his goal time of 100 minutes. For some, it was not just Henry, Jasper and Evan who helped them, but the memories of their own precious babies lost due to prematurity or stillbirth. Baby Isabella helped her dad to push on despite a badly injured calf muscle, and baby Lucy inspired her uncle to run a fantastic time. And of course a huge inspiration was the generous amounts of money pledged to each runner by hundreds of sponsors – we were afterall ‘running for a humidicrib’ to save the lives of other precious premature and critically ill babies in Intensive Care at the Royal Hospital for Women.

I continue to be overwhelmed by the generosity of people in helping us raise these much needed funds for life-saving equipment for the hospital’s Newborn Intensive Care Centre, in memory of Henry, Jasper & Evan. A complete stranger in the crowd at the finish line handed me $50. Con and his staff at the Coogee Café donated all their tips from the race weekend. An anonymous donor sponsored one runner $10,000!

That afternoon we had a team after-party at the Beach Palace Hotel in Coogee, for runners and their sponsors. Among the guests was Tracey Spicer who spoke in her role as Ambassador to the hospital’s Newborn Care Centre, and presented our team’s prizes. It was wonderful to see so many exhausted, yet exhilirated and proud, runners celebrating their great achievement.

The success of this team would not have been possible without the kind support of local businesses in Coogee and Randwick, who helped in so many ways. Many cafes, including the Coogee Café, helped in recruiting runners through distributing my flyers and displaying posters. ‘Salt and Lemon’ in Randwick encouraged people to join with the promise of free fish and chips! The Beast magazine kindly publicised the event. Chris Warhurst, of the Beach Palace Hotel, and Patrick Byrne, of the Coogee Dolphins, generously sponsored our team’s running singlets. Alex Porter offered her skills as team photographer.

Amazingly, our team this year raised just over $100,000, which will be used to buy four much needed state-of-the-art humidicribs for the smallest and sickest babies in Intensive Care. Thank you to all our generous sponsors, supporters and, of course, runners. It has been extremely uplifting to see the local community come together to support the Royal Hospital for Women, and in memory of my three very special little boys.

Henry, Jasper & Evan Smith’s mum, Sophie.


HALF MARATHON 2009  

RUNNING FOR PREMATURE BABIES – 2009

I was amazed and delighted that so many people joined my third annual team to run the SMH Half Marathon for Newborn Intensive Care at the Royal Hospital for Women. We continue to raise money for the ‘Henry Jasper & Evan Smith Trust’ at the RHW Foundation in memory of my precious little boys.

This year we were not only running in Henry Jasper and Evan’s memory but in the memory of other beautiful babies who have passed away but will never be forgotten. Runners on our team included Joe running in memory of his daughter Madison and Margaret running in memory of her son Freddie both of whom were cared for at the RHW.

We had people on our team running in thanks for their own children born prematurely whose lives they owe to the RHW. I was also extremely touched to see that donations were made in memory of many other precious babies and I’ve included a list of these babies’ names at the end of this letter.

It was fantastic to be back in the running pack having been pregnant with my beautiful Owen last year. I must admit to being rather nervous at the start line as I’d struggled in my last long training run and that had been 7km short of the 21.1km race distance! However seeing the excitement and enthusiasm of our 106 runners in their bright green team shirts bearing my babies’ beautiful life-sized handprints was all the inspiration I needed.

At times during the race when I thought I couldn’t run another step I remembered the incredible fight of my little boys and immediately found the strength to keep going. It was fantastic seeing our runners spread throughout the 10 thousand-strong pack - their waves and shouted words of encouragement really pulled me along as did the cheers from Ash and Owen from the side-lines. It was inspiring to catch glimpses of Rebecca and Anthony our amazingly fast winning runners race each other to the finish line. Rebecca came in just 3 seconds ahead of Anthony at an incredible time of 88 minutes 56 seconds!

My finishing time this year wasn’t quite as impressive as it was two years ago and for the first time ever I was lapped by the winner but nevertheless I was very proud to finish in 127 minutes! Ash who couldn’t run this year due to illness cheered me to the end and told me he’s already looking forward to being back on the team in 2010.

That afternoon runners and sponsors gathered at the Coogee Palace for the team “after party”. It was great to see so many people find the energy to celebrate their achievement. We were honoured to have Dr Kei Lui Associate Professor and Director of Newborn Intensive Care among the guests.

The success of this team would not have been possible without the kind support of local businesses that helped in so many ways. Ryan from the Coogee Palace once again provided our shirts; Bruce from Sands Promotions provided our running caps; Faycal and Jappe from 2ideas Marketing Solutions designed our shirts caps and flyers; Mandi from PRAMfit held fortnightly training for the team; Alex from Arthouse Photography offered her skills as team photographer; SKINS Running Bare The Runners Shop & Kidoodle provided our team prizes; The Beast helped us publicise the event.

I am delighted to announce that this year we raised $53000 (with money still rolling in) which will be used to buy two new neonatal monitors for tiny babies who need mechanical ventilation to survive. To me this life-saving equipment is important for two reasons: it saves the lives of precious premature babies and it also keeps the spirit and memory of my three little boys alive. Henry Jasper & Evan may never have felt the sunshine on their faces yet their lives have made a difference. To know that my boys are helping other babies to live makes me the proudest mum in the world.

From the bottom of my heart thank you to the thousands of people who have so generously contributed and made this possible.

See you next year!

Love
Sophie

2009 ‘HENRY JASPER & EVAN SMITH TRUST’
HALF MARATHON TEAM –
running in memory of these beautiful babies…


Henry Jasper & Evan Smith
Freddie Moses
Madison Capaldi
Callum Akayan
Alexander George Pusey
Luke Suddart
Junior Mullarkey
Oliver Blaber
Lachlan Joshua Bishop
Moonlight
Chase
Joshua Beard
Jack Andrew Kelly
Baby Vanessa
Jackson
Eloise and Josephine Pritchard
Christine Smith
Jenna Hall
Toni
Muffin
Angel Smethurst
Henry Ford
Mary Sheila Small
Hollie
Lachlan Bishop
Humpty
Martina and Johanna
David Billington


ALWAYS LOVED. NEVER FORGOTTEN


article in local paper - 14 March 2010  

http://southern-courier.whereilive.com.au/news/story/running-in-honour-of-her-sons/

 


article in Sydney Morning Herald 8 March 2010  

http://www.smh.com.au/sport/grief-drives-a-mothers-fundraising-20100307-pqmg.html

 


Article on BUMP pregnancy website - June 2007  
SOPHIE'S STORY
Last year Sophie Smith gave birth to triplets Henry Jasper and Evan. But today instead of running around after three toddlers she is running half-marathons to honour their memory. Here is her story…

Sophie Cotton had always loved kids and planned for a big family. The English schoolteacher married her fiance Ashley Smith in Sydney in 2005 and both were over the moon when she fell pregnant a year later.

“I was so excited and thrilled” she told bump.

“We went for a scan at six weeks and were amazed to see not one not two but three hearts beating!’

An overjoyed Sophie burst into tears of happiness and shock.

Over the next few months Sophie and Ash enjoyed buying a triplet buggy and cot new fridge dishwasher dryer and car to accommodate their ‘instant family’.

Says Sophie:“I was so proud to be pregnant with triplets. People would ask me what I wanted and I’d just say: ‘Three babies’."

But at 21 weeks Sophie was in a supermarket when her waters broke and she was taken to hospital. She went into premature labour and gave birth to a tiny baby boy Henry Tim weighing just 430g.

“We held Henry he squeezed onto us and gave a little cry” says Sophie. “He was perfect. Just too small.”

Henry lived for one hour before passing away in his mummy’s arms. Sophie was heartbroken but “I held him for his whole life and that gives me great comfort.”

After that it was a battle to stay pregnant as long as possible to give Henry’s siblings the best fighting chance.

“There is no intervention given to babies born before week 24 so I prayed. Friends all over the world were praying for us.”

At 24 weeks after three weeks of bed rest a tiny foot slipped through Sophie’s cervix and she was rushed off for an emergency Caesar. Two little brothers blond Evan and dark-haired Jasper were rushed to Intensive Care because they were too small to be able to breathe on their own.

Weighing less than one kilo each the boys had a long fight ahead of them. But babies that young had survived before and Sophie and Ash were optimistic.

After 10 days Sophie was released from hospital. But in the early hours of the following morning she and Ash were called back in. Evan was extremely ill and for the first time the doctors let Sophie cuddle him. That night he passed away of a brain haemorrhage.

Bereaved for the second time in a month Sophie spent every minute of each day with Jasper or expressing milk which was fed to him through a tube into his tummy. Each evening Ash would join them and with each day that passed their hope grew.

“At one stage Jasper’s heart stopped and we thought we would lose him” says Sophie. “But he came back and I knew he was a fighter. I always believed he would grow up knowing about his brothers and that he was a triplet.”

But because of his prematurity Jasper’s lungs were weak and they kept collapsing. Little Jasper was 58 days old when his lungs collapsed again and this time the doctors couldn’t revive him. In his short life Sophie had held Jasper four times and given him one precious breastfeed. After her third funeral in three months Sophie returned home with her husband. Expecting to be run off her feet looking after triplets – she was instead facing a black hole.

“It was terrible because after that I was just devastated. I couldn’t face going back to work. Life was just a blur.”

Sophie busied herself making photo albums of her sons and compiling footage of them onto a DVD. Some friends planted a tree in the boys’ memory in Sydney's Centennial Park and she and Ash talked about them every day but it wasn’t enough for Sophie.

“I desperately wanted something to keep their memory alive. They had been with us for such a short time and yet they had changed our lives in such a huge way. When I was contemplating the terrible empty months ahead a friend suggested I try and get fit.”

Her suggestion planted a seed in Sophie’s mind.

Having always loved running Sophie decided to run a half-marathon to raise money for Sydney’s Royal Hospital for Women where Henry Evan and Jasper had been so well looked after. She decided to look for runners to join her and placed leaflets in local cafes.

Says Sophie: “I was overwhelmed by the emails and phone calls that I received from both friends and complete strangers wanting to join me in running in memory of my sons. Everybody had a story and a personal reason for running. Some had children whose lives had been saved in the Royal’s Newborn Care Centre. Two runners had begun their own lives in humidicribs as premature babies themselves.”

On Mei 20 Sophie completed the Sydney Morning Herald Half-Marathon. Joining her were 97 friends and strangers helping her honour her sons’ memory.

Sophie had hoped to raise $20000 – the cost of one humidicrib. But her group of runners raised a staggering $80000 to which Ash’s colleagues at BT Financial Group added another $20000. This was enough to purchase five humidicribs.

Sophie was amazed and touched by people’s generosity: “I was so overwhelmed and delighted that so many people wanted to help.”

Today it’s more than 12 months since Sophie’s and Ash’s babies passed away.

“Last year was the happiest and saddest of my life” she says. "I think about what beautiful babies I had and I feel blessed to have met each of them. I’m very proud that they have inspired people to reach out and help and save other babies through the purchase of life-saving equipment.

“Our little boys put up the greatest of fights to stay with us but in the end it was just too much to ask. For the rest of our lives we will always be able to draw inspiration from the amazing fight and spirit that each of our boys showed.
We are comforted to think that wherever they are now little Henry Jasper and Evan are getting up to mischief – triplet brothers destined to stick together.”

Interview with Tracey Spicer - Mar 08  

 http://www.essentialbaby.com.au/parenting/advertorial-4/the-greatest-of-hurdles-sophie-smith-shares-her-story-20090422-aeqv.html?page=-1

 


Memoriam notices - 09  

in the UK Telegraph:

http://announcements.telegraph.co.uk/inmemoriam/16-Sep-2009/16-Oct-2009/Cotton~Smith~-~Henry~Jasper~and~Evan/1/announcement105852.aspx


in the Sydney Morning Herald:

http://classifieds.fairfax.com.au/personals/search.vts?action=View&VDkVgwKey=888212431085&DocOffset=1&DocsFound=1&QueryZIP=%28smit*%29%3Cand%3E%28%28SHORT_NAME%3Dsmh%29%3Cor%3E%28SHORT_NAME%3Dweb%29%29%3Cand%3E%28SUB_SECTIONG%3Dmemoriam%29&Collection=personals&SortOrder=asc&SortField=title&ViewTemplate=docview.hts&ResultTemplate=results.hts&ResultStart=1&ResultCount=20&ResultMaxDocs=300&RealNumDocsFound=1&display=o&res=o&s=personals&c=notices&sc=1&f=0&p=0&rank=1





Memoriam notices - 2007  

For Evan:

http://notices.smh.com.au/memoriam/34853/notice.aspx

For Henry:

http://notices.smh.com.au/memoriam/33341/notice.aspx

 


Article in Royal Hospital Newsletter - April 08  

http://www.rhwfoundation.com.au/newsletters/pdf/April_page6.pdf

 


Article in Royal Hospital Newsletter - July 08  

http://www.rhwfoundation.com.au/newsletters/pdf/julynewsletter2008page4.pdf

 


Article in Hospital Newsletter - July 07  

http://www.rhwfoundation.com.au/newsletters/pdf/JulyNewsletter-Page6.pdf

 


Article in Sydney Morning Herald 17/05/08  

http://www.smh.com.au/news/sport/triplets-inspire-group-run-for-gift-of-life/2008/05/16/1210765172214.html

 


article in hospital foundation newsletter  

http://www.rhwfoundation.com.au/newsletters/pdf/JulyNewsletter-Page6.pdf




Half Marathon in memory of Henry, Jasper & Evan  
RUNNING FOR A HUMIDICRIB IN MEMORY OF HENRY, JASPER AND EVAN

The idea for a ‘humidicrib’ half marathon team in memory of my precious sons, Henry, Jasper and Evan, came not long after Jasper’s funeral. When contemplating the terrible empty months ahead, a friend suggested getting fit. ‘Run a marathon or something’, she said. That day a seed was planted, which resulted in a team of 98 people running the Sydney Morning Herald Half Marathon last Sunday 20 May ‘for a humidicrib’ for the Newborn Intensive Care Centre at the Royal Hospital for Women.

I was amazed when the very first person to contact me and officially join my team was Hayley. Hayley rang me just minutes after I had sent out the first flyers looking for runners. She told me about her beautiful identical twin daughters, Olivia and Maisie, who had died shortly after their birth nearly ten years ago. Hayley told me she wanted to run with me and help raise money so that we may save others from sharing our pain.

From that day on I was overwhelmed by the many lovely emails and phone calls that I received from both friends and complete strangers wanting to join me in running for a humidicrib in memory of my sons. Everybody had a story and a personal reason for running. Kevin and Kyle had spent several weeks in the Newborn Care Centre following the premature birth of their son, Harrison, now six. Joel and Jennifer had both begun their own lives in humidicribs as premature babies themselves. Many told me that my baby boys and their struggle to live had inspired them to train and run the half marathon with me.

Our team consisted of runners of all abilities, from elite tri-athletes and marathon runners to others who had never run before. The determination and dedication of everyone on the team was admirable – many joined me for a group training run around Centennial Park each Wednesday evening, turning up whatever the weather! Michael, a personal trainer and team member, offered his services free of charge on a Sunday morning, and Joe organised a Saturday morning training session.

The evening before the race, 50 members of the team met at Coogee Café for a carbo-loading pasta supper. This was a great opportunity to talk race tactics! Con and the Coogee Café generously hosted the supper at cost price as well as donating $1 from each person back to our fund. The Coogee Café also collected donations from their customers towards our fund over the race weekend.

As race day morning dawned butterflies set in as we made our way to the starting line in The Rocks. Here we met up with the other members of the team and, after some bleary-eyed group photos, we took our place with the other 4,900 entrants.

As we set off over the start line and ran under the bridge, with the Opera House coming into view on a sunny Sydney morning, I thought of my Henry, Jasper and Evan and how wonderful a gift their short lives were. Seeing so many bright blue shirts bearing Henry, Jasper and Evan’s names along with their beautiful life-sized handprints, was all the inspiration I needed to run the 21.1km ahead of me.

Soon our 98 runners had spread throughout the 5000-strong pack but due to the lay-out of the course, and being a two lap event, we were never far from each other. There was always a sense of reassuring team camaraderie, calling out encouraging words and waves to each other as we passed. The whole way around the course there were people lining the streets, cheering us on.

I am glad to say that I managed to narrowly avoid being lapped by the winner. Just as I was nearing the halfway point (which is also the finish line), at 55 minutes, I felt excitement mounting and heard anticipated cheers for Brett Cartwright of Canberra approaching the finish! 

By the time I reached the 17km mark, my legs were exhausted and my head began to pound. I was still running, but felt like I wasn’t actually moving – rather like running in a dream. At 18km, however, I gathered speed as I felt the three tiny pairs of hands on my back push me up the final hill, and it was certainly Henry, Jasper and Evan who got me over the finish line in an unexpectedely respectable time of 113 minutes! The atmosphere there was really amazing, with Ash and a whole group of friends among the crowds cheering us to the finsih.

That afternoon we had a party for the team at the Beach Palace Hotel in Coogee, who were the generous sponsors of our shirts. Penelope Hess, CEO of the RHW Foundation was there to announce that the pre-race donations were already up to $35,000! Two weeks later and this amount has risen to an incredible $68,000! ($60,000 if equivalent to THREE humidicribs!)
Thank you to all you generous sponsors of our ‘humidicrib team’ who have made this fundraising event such an enormous success. I am overjoyed at the support people have shown in tribute to my 3 boys and the fundraising effort.




Jasper's first anniversary notice in the newspaper  


http://notices.smh.com.au/memoriam/14/10/2007/21/10/2007/notice.aspx?surname=Baby
extract from 'The Velveteen Rabbit' by Marjery Williams, read at Jazzy's funeral  
The Velveteen Rabbit

“What isi REAL?” asked the Rabbit one day, when they were lying side by side near the nursery fender, before Nana came to tidy the room. “Does it mean having things that buzz inside you and a stick-out handle?”
“Real isn’t how you are made,” said the Skin Horse. “It’s a thing that happens to you. When a child loves you, not just to play with, but REALLY loves you, then you become Real.”

“Does it hurt?” asked the Rabbit.

“Sometimes,” said the Skin Horse, for he was always truthful. “When you are Real you don’t mind being hurt. Generally, by the time you are Real, most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out and you get loose in the joints and very shabby. But these things don’t matter at all, because once you are Real you can’t be ugly, except to people who don’t understand. The Boy’s Uncle made me Real,” he said. “That was a great many years ago; but once you are Real you can’t become unreal again. It lasts for always.”

The Rabbit sighed. He thought it would be a long time before this magic called Real happened to him.

There was a person called Nana who ruled the nursery. Sometimes she took no notice of the playthings lying about, and sometimes, for no reason whatever, she went swooping about like a great wind and hustled them away in cupboards. She called this “tidying up”, and the playthings all hated it.

One evening, when the Boy was going to bed, he coulnd’t find the china dog that always slept with him. Nana was in a hurry, so she simply looked about her, and made a swoop.

“Here,” she said, “take you old Bunny! He’ll do to sleep with you!” And she dragged the Rabbit out by one ear, and put him into the Boy’s arms.

That night, and for many nights after, the Velveteen Rabbit slept in the Boy’s bed. At first he found it rather uncomfortable, for the Boy hugged him very tight, and sometimes he rolled over on him, and sometimes he pushed him so far under the pillow that the Rabbit could scarcely breathe. But very soon he grew to like it, for the Boy used to talk to him and they played splendid games together, in whispers, when Nana had gone away to her supper and left the nightlight burning on the mantelpiece. And when the Boy dropped off to sleep, the Rabbit would snuggle down close under his little warm chin and dream, with the Boy’s hands clasped close round him all night long.

And so time went on, and the little Rabbit was very happy – so happy that he never noticed how his beautiful velveteen fur was getting shabbier and shabbier, and his tail coming unsewn, and all the pink rubbed off his nose where the Boy had kissed him.

Spring came, and they had long days in the garden, for wheerever the Boy went the Rabbit went too. And once, when the Boy was called away suddenly to go out to tea, the Rabbit was left out on the lawn until long after dusk, and Nana had to come and look for him with the candle because the Boy couldn’t go to sleep unless he was there. He was wet through with the dew, and Nana grumbled as she rubbed him off with a corner of her apron.

“You must have your old Bunny!” she said. “Fancy all that fuss for a toy!”

The Boy sat up in bed and stretched out his hands

“Give me my Bunny!” he said. “You mustn’t say that. He isn’t a toy. He’s REAL!”

When the little Rabbit heard that he was happy, for he knew that what the Skin Horse had said was true at last. The nursery magic had happened to him, and he was a toy no longer. He was Real.



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