Life’s Little Treasures Foundation’s annual ‘Walk for Prems’ will take place in seven major cities across Australia on Sunday 26th October 2014 to raise much-needed funds in support of families of premature or sick babies.
Approximately 45,000 infants are admitted to a Neonatal Intensive Care Unit or Special Care Nursery ward each year in Australia, while around 15 million babies across the world are born premature per year.
Premature or preterm birth occurs when a baby is born during 20-36 weeks gestation rather than during 37-40 weeks, which is considered a full term pregnancy.
As the world’s leading cause of newborn deaths, complications from premature birth is an area requiring increased funding for research and support.
Cary and Jon Hammond along with their three children Evie, Billy and Sonny (pictured) are this year’s Official Ambassador Family for Life’s Little Treasures Foundation’s Walk for Prems.
Having courageously brought three premature babies into the world, Cary and Jon have endured a difficult journey and want to help others in a similar situation.
Evie, the eldest of the Hammond children, was born 10 weeks premature in 2007 due to pre-eclampsia and weighed a tiny 1275 grams (2lb 8oz). After spending the first eight days of her life in The Royal Women’s Hospital’s Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, Evie spent 45 days in the Special Care Nursery at Frances Perry House.
Evie’s younger siblings and twins, Billy and Sonny, were born in 2009 weighing 698g (1lb 5oz) and 1150g (2lb 5oz) respectively. Billy suffered from Chronic Lung Disease while Sonny spent his first three weeks on a ventilator. The twins spent 99 days in Neonatal Intensive Care Units, which was an emotionally demanding period for the whole family.
“What many people don’t understand about having a premature baby is that you’re not just going home with a smaller than expected child,” says Cary.
“The difficulties of those first few weeks, months and even years take a physical, emotional and financial toll on the whole family.”
All funds raised by Life’s Little Treasures Foundation’s family-friendly social walk will help provide people like the Hammond’s with information, support and understanding to help them with their challenging journey.
Life’s Little Treasures Foundation is Australia’s leading charity dedicated to the families of babies born premature or sick. The foundation was born in 2005 after a group of parents of premature babies decided to do something about the lack of support available to people in their situation.
Walk for Prems will take place at the following seven locations across Australia on Sunday 26th October:
Melbourne: Albert Park Lake, Aughtie Drive, Albert Park
Sydney: Sydney Park, Sydney Park Rd, St Peters
Adelaide: Karrawirra Southbank, Victoria Drive, Adelaide
Perth: Sir James Mitchell Park, Zone 13 South Perth Esplanade
Launceston: Royal Park, Park Street, Launceston
Brisbane: 7th Brigade Park, Murray Road, Chermside
Canberra: Lake Tuggeranong Town Park, Bartlett Place, Greenway
On Sunday 26th October registrations for Walk for Prems will open at 9.30am in Sydney, Adelaide, Perth, Launceston, Brisbane and Canberra, and at 8am in Melbourne. The social walk will begin at 10.30am in each city.
At the Melbourne Walk for Prems event there will be the option for people to take part in a 10km run commencing at 9am or a 5km run/walk at 9.15am instead of the social walk at 10.30am.
To take part in Walk for Prems people can sign up online at www.walkforprems.org.au.