Cycling For Orla – Our Story

Photo 04-05-2016, 21 12 02
Everything about this trip is for Orla and because of Orla.  If it wasn’t for her then we wouldn’t be here, and although it is tragic circumstances that have led us to this trip, it feels like a gift in so many ways.  We made a pledge early on that we couldn’t just go back to normal – that our old life no longer held the same meaning that it used to.  We wanted to do something to give back to a charity that helped us and we wanted to speak out and share our story, as hearing those bravely shared by others was undoubtedly the thing that enabled us to survive those early days.
Although a keen cyclist, Andy has needed to commit himself to 12 weeks of intense training to undertake this huge challenge – almost 2000 miles from Vancouver to the Mexican border in San Diego.  This is alongside working fulltime and all of the other chaos that comes with losing your child; planning funerals, returning the buggy, simultaneously registering the birth and death of your baby and helping to keep your wife from falling apart.  As I struggle to ride a bike at the best of times, but also recovering from nine months of pregnancy and giving birth, I have committed to helping plan the trip, to support Andy physically and mentally, to share our story and to promote awareness, in the hope that we can raise as much money as possible for the Stillbirth and Neonatal Death charity (SANDS).
In memory of our beautiful daughter Orla, we want to capture as much as we can in every possible way; through words, pictures and video.  This is our journey of Cycling for Orla.
[vimeo 178412970 w=640 h=360]
<p><a href=”https://vimeo.com/178412970″>Cycling For Orla – Our Story.mp4</a> from <a href=”https://vimeo.com/user51365535″>Dear Orla</a> on <a href=”https://vimeo.com”>Vimeo</a>.</p>

Previous Post Next Post

You Might Also Like


  • Reply Claire Ward August 12, 2016 at 9:05 am

    Dearest Michelle and Mark
    I have been following your story for a while now. I lost my precious Evelyn 3rd March this year at 40+2 weeks and something inside me just needs to connect to something familiar because I feel so disconnected from my ‘before’ life. It is heartbreaking knowing there are so many of us out there. But you are both so brave. I see the pain in your eyes as you speak and I feel it too. Maybe as loss parents, we can carry this together.
    Orla would be so proud of you, I just know it. Keep going. As you travel for a great cause and for yourselves and Orla, know that I carry your hearts in mine.
    Claire xx

  • Reply laurakate1986 August 12, 2016 at 1:52 pm

    Hi Michelle
    I’ve been following your blog for a while. My beautiful baby girl Taryn was stillborn at 38+5 in April this year. We held her funeral on the same day that your precious Orla was born.
    I’ve been able to take a huge amount of comfort in reading your story and knowing that there is someone out there who feels the same way and I’m not alone. I’ve just watched your video and it was like watching myself talk.
    I’m full of admiration for you, not only for the cycle ride but for writing your blog in the first place. I’ve always considered myself to be a fairly articulate person, but words now fail me. I think you are able to say exactly what I would if only I was able to find the words. You are doing wonderful things in Orla’s memory. She will be very proud of you both xxx

  • Reply Dave Jenkins August 16, 2016 at 8:14 am

    I am so proud to call you my friends. I know that this page will
    Be helping so many people at a time of unimaginable pain.
    Love you both so much. Best of luck for the rest of your adventure.
    Ps – great film making skills.

  • Leave a Reply