Fundraising has played a huge role in our grieving for Orla. It has given us a focus when we felt we had none, and has enabled us to channel our emotions into something tangible. We have raised funds for Sands and Tommy’s, both charities that have provided us with hope. To date, our challenges and adventures have included:
Cycling for Orla:
Exactly three months after Orla’s birth in 2016, Andy cycled from Canada to Mexico – an amazing 1883.2 miles, which he completed in just 36 days. I travelled with him as his support vehicle, helping to raise money along the way.
The following year, just a few months after we welcomed our second baby, Andy took part in Ride London, cycling 100 miles throughout London and Surrey. He then cycled from London to Lands End, where I again acted as support vehicle. During this trip, we left 88 random acts of kindness along the way, each dedicated to a baby gone too soon. 2018 has seen him take on the Ride London 100 again as part of Team Tommy’s.
Running for Orla:
Orla’s aunty and uncle ran the Brighton Marathon in her memory in 2017 and Hayley is now part of Team Tommy’s for the London Marathon 2019 (a life-long goal and dream!). And despite always loathing running, I completed the London Landmarks Half Marathon in 2018, which was as much a shock to my friends and family as it was to me!
Initially created as a way to raise money for Tommy’s, these little pins have become more than I had ever anticipated. Warrior transcends all struggles and means something to so many. I have loved crating something that has provided a little bit of hope and strength.