In the build up to the Virgin Money London Marathon we're meeting a few of our wonderful #TeamSands runners. If you're interested in becoming a #TeamSands supporter, check out our list of exciting fundraising events.
Name: Sharon Carrafa
From: Fleur de Lis, South Wales
Why you are running for Sands?
Imagine giving birth and spending half an hr with your baby who spent six months growing inside you. You prayed for a family and battled 14 years of IVF with multiple failed attempts and not knowing what the side effects of the drugs would be in the long term!!! Imagine going through a short intense labour then someone swiftly taking your baby away from you, you were helpless and numb! You had to get some air so you and your husband could breath. There is only one way out and that is through the delivery suite of the hospital where the cries of the babies and the joys of the parents haunt you! I have experienced that joy but this day there was no joy and the feeling that I can only imagine the depressed person would feel and deal with daily. I had no feelings for myself, my husband, my children or my family!! I just wanted this to be a dream but it was my reality. I felt guilty and wondered what I did wrong??? Why me? Why us? I just felt blank......
After returning to the delivery suite I waited at the door and my husband asked if we could either leave to go home or stay on a different ward because the cries of the newborn babies was like being tortured. We were offered the SANDS Teardrop suite (bereavement suite) away from delivery and that helped us cope for that night. We were not offered this at first even though it wasn't occupied!!! That I still question? Why did they make us stay on a delivery suite!??
Months after our loss I began realising that I was privileged to have what I have, my gorgeous children, a great husband, my family, a job I love and my running family who helped me through the dark days. The rude comments oh you have 3 children be grateful (that I am). Having the Sands support group helped me realise I was not alone and people were willing to talk and share their personal stories to help and support each other. Sands has given the opportunity to help and support others and raise vital funds and I will continue to do so.
I am lucky to have the life I have and to have had the privilege to meet a special little being who changed my perspective on life completely. My baby! That little being whom I nurtured and loved like I nurtured and love all my children!
We never forget but we learn to accept. Our little angel is engraved in our hearts forever, sleep tight Chiara xxx
What has been your biggest challenge while training?
My biggest challenge was having the motivation to work, look after my family and train at 5:30am in the rain, the cold and snow and ice!
What are you most looking forward to about being part of the London Marathon?
I am looking forward to the experience of London as I may only get one chance to complete this, and that feeling that I am running in memory of my baby Chiara makes it even more special. I am also looking forward to crossing the finish line in hopefully a good time and celebrating my baby’s short life and knowing I am promoting Sands and the invaluable work they do.
What is your expected fundraising target?
My fundraising target is £2000 but I have exceeded that’s so now want to raise £3000
What is your expected finishing time?
I would like to get under 4 hrs but secretly would love to get good for age 3:50, but that’s not something I have trained for! Maybe next time for that goal.
Where can I donate? www.justgiving.com/fundraising/Sharon-Carrafa2