Monday, September 10, 2007

I wanted to help after baby sorrow

COVENTRY accountant Stuart Hopkins is preparing to run the Chicago Marathon to raise money for a charity website which helped his friends after they lost their baby.

Leanne Rouse, aged 26, suffered a miscarriage in February and, along with her husband Sam, aged 28, turned to Babyloss, which supports parents whose children have died.

The couple, who grew up in Coventry but now live in Birmingham, have known Stuart for more than 10 years and when he heard of their grief he decided to do something to help.

Stuart, aged 31, of Honiton Road, Wyken, said: "I was absolutely gutted for them when I heard the news, it was such a heart-breaking thing for them to go through.

"But I wanted something positive to come out of it and, by raising money for Babyloss, hopefully we can help other people in a similar situation."

He is well prepared for the race on October 7 as this is the eighth he has tackled, including the London Marathon three times.

Stuart, who works at Weavers accountants, in Queens Road, city centre, trains by running 90 miles a week and his friends are confident he will complete the course with ease.

Leanne, a nurse at Selly Oak Hospital in Birmingham, said: "I think it is such a lovely thing for Stuart to do and the money he raises will not only help us but other people too.

"When I lost my daughter I felt like I had lost everything. Poppy was born at 16 weeks and she was perfectly formed - she looked like her dad.

"Sam had to carry her coffin when we buried her, which was devastating for him.

"When I found the Babyloss website I found other people who had gone through the same thing and it gave me the chance to grieve with people who understood.

"It's really important to raise enough money to keep the website going because lots of people can't afford counselling, so it's a way for them to get over it."

Both Sam and Leanne grew up in Coventry - Leanne in Allesley and Sam in Earlsdon.

Sam, a lecturer at Worcester University, said: "We will try for another baby, but we wanted to wait until after Poppy's due date, so we could mourn her properly first.

"We didn't want a new baby to be a replacement for her, but a new person we could love in their own right."

Anyone who wants to make a donation can e-mail


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