A Northampton couple are organising a charity fun day in memory of their baby boy who died less than a day after being born.
Natalie Cunningham and Nick Cross, of Grasscroft in Kingsthorpe, lost their first baby, Lenny Cross, only 10 hours after he was born prematurely at 25 weeks on August 1 last year. He weighed little more than two pounds.
Almost a year later, the couple are now planning a fundraising event to give something back to the stillbirth charity that helped support them through the difficult time.
Talking about their son, who they just had time to name and hold in the hospital before he died, 29-year-old Miss Cunningham said; “He was the bright shining light of hope and happiness after a tough few years. We are so grateful for the short period of pure joy and contentment that he gave us and he is still the best thing that has ever happened us.
“Sadly, the future that we have to plan now is one without him and that is the hardest thing of all. It has left us with a sadness and an emptiness that we somehow have to try to fill again.
“His gorgeous little face will be forever etched in our minds, and the memory will be forever in our broken hearts.”
Sands (stillbirth and neonatal death) charity offers a network of support for parents who have lost a baby and helped Miss Cunningham and Mr Cross begin to come to terms with their loss.
On Saturday, July 26, the couple and their families and friends will be holding a special memorial day for Lenny at Wootton Hall Park.
The event, from 11am-3pm, is already offering a charity football tournament, a free zumba session from 12-1pm, a bouncy castle, an inflatable gladiator dual ring, free face painting, a paddling pool for toddlers, a raffle and a variety of refreshments, including burger and ice cream vans and a vintage cake stall.
For those who think they are up to the challenge, a £100 prize and trophy are up for grabs for the winner of a Wootton Hall Park Has Talent competition. Entries of all talents and ages will be given a five-minute slot in front of the judges and their buzzer for only £1.
More sporty visitors who want to take part in the football tournament, which will be refereed by professional Nathan Brown, are asked to contact in advance to be signed up to a team and receive their official invitation in the post. Adults are asked to pay £5 to enter, £3 for under 16s, and all proceeds will go to the Sands charity.
The family are still looking for more local businesses in groups who would like to provide even more stalls or entertainment during the day, or even just to donate money or raffle prizes.
To find out more, or to sign up to the football tournament, text 07792576271 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
To donate, visit: https://www.justgiving.com/Natalie-Cunningham1.