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The poignant stories of families who think of others through their own tears and sadness

I am writing this with mixed emotions of gratitude and admiration but also a sense of poignancy at how some of our families turn a cruel loss into something positive. I have just been reading the latest Kitty Newsletter which describes the work of our wonderful fund raisers. I am always so humbled by the many people who support our charities at Liverpool Women's from celebrities who hold fundraising events to local interest groups who dedicate their fundraising activities to us.

Most of all, I am always deeply grateful to the many families using our services, who want to say thank you to our staff for the expertise, care and dedication provided to their babies by supporting our charities. The bravery of those who raise funds in memory of their babies who were cared for in our neonatal unit and indeed those families who took their baby home never fails to move me. During what may be the saddest and most difficult days of their lives, they turn their thoughts so unselfishly to helping future babies and their families. As a mum myself I can only begin to imagine the stress and emotional turmoil these families have been through.

I read about parents like Steve and Kelly Horler who, with Steve's parents, raised a magnificent £1885.00 for our neonatal unit in memory of their daughter and granddaughter little Georgia Grace. She had spent 14 weeks on the neonatal unit where, says Steve, she received "amazing care" from the dedicated nurses in Nursery One. You can read more about how they raised the money in the Kitty Newsletter which included £160 donated by family and friends at Georgia's funeral. Even at an event they could never have anticipated in their worst nightmares, they thought about other babies and left a lasting legacy in Georgia's memory.

Many of our oncology patients and their families also work tirelessly to raise funds to support the care we provide to women who are diagnosed with cancer. Eileen O'Connor for example asked for donations for cancer research instead of receiving presents for her 60th birthday and raised a £400. Cancer is a cruel disease and affects many people. At Liverpool Women's we have dedicated teams who do a fantastic job supporting women diagnosed with cancer. Patients past and present also support each other in various groups.

We hear so much bad news these days that can make us think we live in a harsh and unfeeling world. But you only have to read about the warm hearts of all these people, supporters, patients, parents, families and friends, to realise how much unselfishness there is out there and the abundance of good will and desire of people to give back something in recognition of the help they received when they needed it most.

by Kathryn Thomson

Chief Executive

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