In 2011, my husband and I lost our 10-day old son Finnan to Congenital Heart Disease. We created a charity project in his honour, and each year we fundraise to buy cutting edge equipment, to support advanced training or world class research for the Cardiac Department at the Royal Children's Hospital, Melbourne.
In putting Finnan's Gift together, we unknowingly created a great opportunity for other people in our lives to volunteer. We were going through a time of serious grief, and people wanted to help us and show empathy for our situation, but they didn't know how. When we created Finnan's Gift, it actually enabled them to find a way to connect and help us.
7 years later, one of our favourite things about Finnan's Gift is the community it has created. It's made up of families like us, as well as colleagues, businesses, patients, doctors and new friends. Each year, we hold an annual ball and we also have a team who participate in the Melbourne Marathon Festival. Not only are all these special people coming together to work on their physical health for a common goal, but they're also fundraising within their own personal communities and spreading the message of why they're doing it.
The charity is a fantastic enabler that has given us an opportunity to say thank you, to stay connected to our community, and to help other babies and their families have a greater chance of enjoying a quality life.