In the lead up to International Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Day we have spoke to wonderful Mackay Walk to Remember volunteer co-ordinator Carmen. She talks about what she does to organise the event and why it’s so important to her.
Carmen is a single Mum of a five-year-old son, an almost one year old and the beautiful Ava Mae, who was stillborn.
She is also a children’s swim teacher and currently studying a Bachelor of Nutrition. It’s hard to imagine many people busier than Carmen. But pulling together the Walk to Remember in Mackay is important to Carmen.
‘It is so worthwhile to volunteer. It’s great to be part of the community, it helps me and it helps others to remember their loved one.’
Carmen first became the champion of the Mackay Walk to Remember when the previous organiser moved from the region. Her first event was held in 2019 but sadly, due to Covid, the 2020 walk was cancelled. Carmen is now in the throes of organising the 2021 Walk to Remember which will be help 10 October at 10am at the beautiful Mackay Botanical Gardens.
Walks to Remember are a chance for people whose babies have died to gather and walk the steps their children never got to take. It gives families the opportunity to openly talk about their babies with people who have experienced a similar tragedy.
When asked what she does as the organiser of the Walk to Remember, Carmen responds ‘ground hire, safety, setting up equipment, fundraising, arranging donations of food, pulling it all together and doing a reading on the day. Just everything really!’
Despite being busy, Carmen thinks being part of the community gives her so much.
‘We’re together just due to circumstances, we probably wouldn’t have met otherwise, but the families are beautiful people. It’s lovely to come together, it means so much to people.’
Without volunteers like Carmen, Sands and Red Nose wouldn’t be able to run Walks to Remember across the country.