Mum runs Great North Run to help parents of stillborn babies

Ready for the run... Dawn Nelson, Danielle Hancock and Jill Campbell, who have been completeing last-minute training for this year's Great North Run.
Ready for the run... Dawn Nelson, Danielle Hancock and Jill Campbell, who have been completeing last-minute training for this year's Great North Run.
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A MUM whose first child was stillborn is reaching out to other parents stricken by the same trauma.

Dawn Nelson was left devastated when son Jay died at 39 weeks into her pregnancy.

At the time, 11 years ago, there was little support for mums and dads affected by stillbirth.

But now Dawn, 33, from Washington, is helping to ease the grief through memory boxes which give parents treasured keepsakes of their babies.

She will be taking part in Sunday’s Great North Run for the 4Louis charity after they contacted her husband, Hibernian footballer Michael Nelson, for help.

“I hadn’t heard of the charity until they tweeted my husband to ask if he could send them a signed shirt to be raffled,” said Dawn from Blackfell.

After Dawn learnt of the Houghton-based charity’s work in providing free keepsake boxes for hospitals around the country, she was inspired to help their cause.

She will be taking part in tomorrow’s half marathon with sister Danielle Hancock and friend Jill Campbell to raise valuable funds.

Dawn, who is mum to Kyle, 10, and Finn, five, said: “Although the midwife was brilliant when we lost Jay there wasn’t anything like 4Louis at that time. I think it’s such a great idea.

“It’s such a traumatic time and having something like these memory boxes makes it that bit easier. You don’t think about these things at the time, but they become your memories of the baby.”

Named after her stillborn son Louis, Kirsty McGurrell set up the charity with her family when he died just short of his due date in 2009.

The first batch of keepsake boxes, which include a moulding kit for baby’s hands and feet, a candle, a guardian angel figure and teddies, were delivered to Sunderland Royal Hospital and have since been stocked by hospitals across Britain.