Stephanie is a senior reporter for the Rotorua Daily Post.

Mum raises funds for stillbirth project

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Greagh Love with her daughter Summer. Photo / Stephen Parker
Greagh Love with her daughter Summer. Photo / Stephen Parker

A young Rotorua mum heartbroken after losing her first baby to stillbirth has been overwhelmed with the response to her fundraising efforts and desire to raise awareness of the issue.

Greagh Love was just 16 when she went through the traumatic experience of losing her baby during her second trimester.

The Rotorua Daily Post first spoke to the now 18-year-old in November when she made the decision to use her grief to educate and help people understand infant loss and stillbirths.

She also set up a Givealittle page and was selling infant headbands to fundraise for two extra Cuddle Cots for Rotorua Hospital.

A Cuddle Cot is a cooling system that discreetly sits inside a bassinet, and allows families to keep their babies with them just that little bit longer after their death. Rotorua Hospital was gifted its first Cuddle Cot in May last year.

Now, after two months of tireless fundraising and promotion, Greagh has raised more than $2300 for her cause.

"It's a lot of work and takes a lot of time but I feel like I'm making progress and getting people talking about the issue. It is hard when you get those few people who laugh in your face but most people are kind and want to hear my story or share their own."

She said her biggest obstacle was standing out.

"There are so many causes to fundraise for these days that it is very easy to get buried. We've approached some small businesses but they are not too keen because they get hundreds of people coming in asking for support.

"Our next step will be to approach some of the bigger businesses to see if we can get backing from them."

Greagh has held sausage sizzles, lottery draws, photography sessions and garage sales with all the proceeds going to her Givealittle page.

"The community has been amazing with their support, the photo sessions have been really popular so I will continue to do those. "We're not planning to slow down with our fundraising, I have a whole bunch of fundraisers lined up for 2016 and I am more determined than ever to reach my goal of $10,000 so I can donate two Cuddle Cots to the hospital."

Greagh was proud to be doing something she has thought about since losing Sunshine.

-To make a donation, go to www.givealittle.co.nz/cause/rotoruacuddlecots

- Rotorua Daily Post

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