The Orillia Soldiers' Memorial Hospital NICU treats more than 270 babies from across North Simcoe/Muskoka every year. Currently, the facility is undersized and does not provide an ideal environment for medical care. A renovation project is underway, but has a funding gap for it to be completed. We are hoping to help close this gap so that families and their infants have the best medical care available when it is needed the most.
Not only are we hoping to close this gap, but we are also aiming to shed light on a topic that has been in the dark for far too long.
1 in 4 pregnancies ends in loss. Given this fact, it is hard to not know somebody whose life and family has been touched by a prenatal or infant loss. The loss of a child is something that no person should ever have to endure, but sadly, happens much too often. Often these losses are dealt with in silence with families struggling to find support. Let's break the silence.
"Charlee's Run" is a 1km/5km Fun Run/Walk taking place on April 29th, 2017 at Couchiching Beach Park on the Orillia Waterfront. This event is named in memory of Charlee Clare Holmes and is held in honour of all those who have experienced prenatal and infant loss. All proceeds from this event are in support of the Orillia Soldiers' Memorial Hospital Neonatal Intensive Care Unit renovations.
On April 29th, 2017, please help us in coming together as a community to raise much-needed funds for the smallest patients, as well as to show support for all those who have had to say goodbye much too soon.
On April 29th, 2011, our daughter Charlee Clare Holmes was born. She was only given a small amount of time in this world with us and sadly, we said hello and goodbye to our beautiful girl in the same day. As parents, you watch your children make mistakes, find accomplishments, find a purpose in life, and grow their own legacy. But when you are the parents of a child who has passed away, those milestones are taken away. The pain of losing Charlee will never get easier for us. But as her parents we know her life, however brief it was, has meaning and purpose, beyond just being our story of pain and loss.
Every year on her birthday, to honour her memory, we have asked others to do an act of kindness, big or small, and called these acts "Charlee's Gifts". This past year, we were overwhelmed with the response we received. We heard of dogs being rescued from shelters, to trees being planted in British Columbia, to flowers being bought for strangers, to donations made to local shelters and charities, and so much more - and all in her name. The pain of losing her will never get easier, but by witnessing others spreading kindness in her memory, we feel as though her life and legacy lives on in a positive and uplifting way.
In August of 2012, we welcomed our son, Keenan, into our family. At only two weeks old, Keenan became very ill and was admitted into the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at Orillia Soldiers' Memorial Hospital, where he stayed for 11 of the most stressful, terrifying, and emotionally draining days of our lives. We are forever indebted to this hospital and its staff for saving our son`s life, so we did not have to be the parents of two "angel babies".
So when we heard that the hospital at which our children were born and cared for was in desperate need of funds for its NICU renovations, we knew exactly what the next "Charlee's Gift" should be.
This year, we want to help keep our daughter's legacy alive by not only raising funds for a much-needed resource, but to also start a conversation about prenatal and infant loss so that those who have experienced a loss will know they are not alone.
Create an account, then select "Create Fundraising Page".
Type Orillia Soldiers' Memorial Hospital Foundation into the search, then select "Charlee's Run in support of the NICU Renovations". Fill out the rest of the form to create your own Fundraising name, set start/finish dates and set a personal goal.