I am so touched and happy to see, via this blog and the private messages I have been sent, that sharing my story (about my experiences with SCH/high risk pregnancy and giving to charitable causes to honour my unborn baby’s life) was a good decision. I thought I’d post an update for those who are interested.
The list of charities we have donated to now includes:
The Lymphoma Research Foundation (donation made in honour of a friend who was very recently diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma)
The HER Foundation (upon suggestion of one of my kind blog followers who has suffered through Hyperemesis Gravidarum herself)
Bliss via Saif’s Precious Star Fund (set up in the memory of her beautiful baby Saif by one of my blog followers… a brave woman who has tragically gone through more than I can imagine)
From the Bliss website:
One in every 9 babies in the UK is born either premature or sick. That’s over 80,000 babies every year with one being admitted to special care every six minutes. The vital care that babies receive after birth can have a profound impact on the rest of their lives. For families struggling to cope, this will be one of the most difficult, emotional and stressful times of their lives. Bliss is the UK charity working to provide the best possible care and support for all premature and sick babies and their families.
Precious Star Funds are a wonderful way to remember someone special in a positive and lasting way. Friends and family can donate to the Fund, in your loved one’s name, at any time and however they choose. It can be comforting to know that all of the money raised in your loved one’s memory will help Bliss with our important work improving the life chances of babies born premature or sick.
I never met Saif nor do I know his mother personally, but the cause to help premature/sick babies is clearly something worth supporting and Saif’s tiny life is worth honouring. I am a firm believer that “there is no foot so small that it cannot leave an imprint on this world”. Please consider signing baby Saif’s guest book to show your support, lighting a virtual candle for him (only 10 British pounds or the equivalent in your currency) or making a donation to the Precious Star Fund named in his memory. All contributions made to this fund go directly towards Bliss helping the truly innocent and vulnerable and supporting their families through times of great hardship and anxiety.
To contribute to/visit The Saif Bashir Nihlawi Precious Star Fund, please go to: http://bliss.tributefunds.com/fund/Saif+Bashir+Nihlawi/showFund/
Speaking of the innocent and vulnerable, I mentioned in my last Cupcake for Charity post that we had made a donation to Animals Asia in support of its Moon Bear Rescue efforts. As the great work Animals Asia are doing has been making headlines worldwide recently due to some horrific circumstances, I thought I’d add a little about it here. Bear bile farming is an utterly cruel and inhumane practice currently affecting around 2,400 bears in Vietnam. For their entire lives (up to 25 years) the bears are kept caged and are repeatedly drained of their bile via the use unsterilised needles that can cause “massive and painful abscesses” and lead to bile leakage (which causes a slow and agonising death). Many of the bears that are forced to spend their lives in such a way are literally driven mad from the pain and anxiety of this torturous process. Bear bile farming truly is a disgusting and completely unnecessary industry. Click here to read more about the hideous practice of bear bile farming.
Today, 104 rescued bears who are currently living in safety and receiving rehabilitation are under threat of eviction from their sanctuary. This news has been hitting the headlines and celebrities such as Ricky Gervais and Stephen Fry have been publicly declaring their support for Animals Asia and their disgust that animals who have already lived a life of torture and despair in cages, may be forced back into them.
These bears will be forced to return to cages to be relocated, which will have a major negative impact on their mental and physical well-being. It is likely to take at least two years to establish a new centre with outdoor enclosures, forcing the bears back into cages on a long-term basis…
… The eviction is in direct violation of the Vietnam government’s 2005 agreement with Animals Asia to fund and develop a facility on 12 hectares of the park that would permanently rehabilitate and house 200 endangered bears rescued from the illegal bear bile industry. Based on this agreement, Animals Asia has invested more than US$2 million in building and infrastructure.
To donate to Animals Asia, please go to: https://www.animalsasia.org/donate/
If you cannot donate, please consider emailing Vietnam’s Prime Minister, Nguyen Tan Dung (it takes only a minute and there is a sample email which you can use and simply add your name to): http://www.animalsasia.org/index.php?UID=7PL8339IUCX
Sign the petition (it will take you less time than it does to boil your kettle!): http://www.animalsasia.org/index.php?UID=7PL8339IUCX
If you have literally only seconds to think about this/do something, share this link on Facebook: http://www.animalsasia.org/index.php?UID=7PL8339IUCX
As Cupcake for Charity continues and I do more research into various causes, I can’t help but come to the conclusion that “the more you care, the more you care”. And it is neither pleasant nor comfortable to read about the pain in the world (I can hardly watch the news for that reason!) and the obstacles faced by the charitable causes set up to alleviate it. Sometimes it’s downright heartbreaking. However, knowing that there are organisations/people out there making positive changes and that I too can make a tiny, pro-active difference via a small monetary contribution/taking the time to leave a kind comment for someone who is suffering or to support a cause (it costs nothing!)/signing a petition/doing something positive, makes me feel less disempowered and defeated by all that is sad/wrong/unjust in the world.
As for Cupcake and my situation, we are doing well :)! I am 26+ weeks into my pregnancy and feeling better than I have the entire time, both physically and emotionally. I am so grateful for the blessing of this pregnancy and the opportunity of motherhood. This pregnancy, despite all its complications, has shown me very clearly that I may not be able to control “life”, but I always have a choice in how I perceive it and what I make of it.
Keep your thoughts/comments/suggestions on charitable causes coming! I do believe we can change the world, one small act of kindness at a time :).
Please consider stopping by these two blogs to read the incredible stories and leave a comment of support for these brave mothers:
http://prisonerinmyownbody.wordpress.com/ (a Hyperemesis blog)
http://saifsnicujourney.com/ (“A story of premature birth and the NICU roller coaster”)