On the 9th October 2014, I trundled along to Birmingham for the Pregnancy Sickness Support annual Conference. I suffered badly with Hyperemesis Gravidarum (HG) with both my babies but that seems like a long time ago now, and with limited time and money I wasn’t sure what I could offer or how the conference would be relevant to me at this moment.
Hands down it was the best decision I made this year. Some of the stories from other women broke my heart and were hard to listen to. The consequences of this illness are far reaching with the worse consequences being pretty much the worst you can think of. I have reflected on so many things these ladies have said, mostly how if you took pregnancy out of the equation, this illness would attract so much more attention. This seems absolutely ludicrous to me as surely the life of an unborn baby and the suffering of a human being should be forefront of everyone’s mind. The judgement, the stigma, the absolute devastation on lives, how is it in 2014 this is happening!
Today I made two decisions. Today I set up a monthly payment to PSS. Today I am going think about how I can apply my skills – if not time to this cause. This charity wasn’t around when I had HG and so I never actually received the amazing support it offers – there is also the fact I will never need it in the future as we have had to make the decision not to have any more children. So why am I doing this?
I am doing this because I don’t want to hear any more stories of women going through the isolation and suffering I went through, because we obviously have so much left to do to give the illness a different face. Let’s consider the facts:
- Pregnancy Sickness Support is driving the potential for change for pregnant women with HG worldwide
- Pregnancy Sickness Support is pushed to capacity
- Pregnancy Sickness Support has a support model which is unlike any other support system for women with HG anywhere in world. It is truly pioneering.
- Pregnancy Sickness Support and it's partner organisations are leading the way in research, which could impact on women and unborn babies throughout the world
- Because of Pregnancy Sickness Support there are women that now have their babies in their arms instead of mourning a loss
The biggest reason why I and all of us should continue to support the work is because if we went through Hyperemesis Gravidarum then it is likely our daughters and granddaughters are doomed to suffer the same fate. What a devastating thought. Think about your children now – don’t you wish you could take on every single little piece of suffering for them? From a sore tooth, to a fever you’d do it in a heartbeat. Think about years from now having to watch them go through the same as us and knowing there is little we could do. What if by investing today we can produce a cure - that this is not the future that is in store for our daughters, granddaughters, nieces, sisters and friends?
What I am trying to say is that by giving a little, whatever you are able, you are changing a lot. If every person who liked the PSS Facebook page gave £3 a month, that’s the price of a coffee, that would total £104,868 a year - enough to run, grow and develop the entire support network without any other external support – that would effectively enable PSS to provide one-to-one support to every single women in the UK who sufferers HG.
If all those who have received support in the past gave £3 a month that would total over £18,000 a year – enough to further the capacity for research.
And what if the family and friends of those all donated a regular amount each month or a one off payment – I don’t want to labour the point but you get the gist.
I don’t want to sound preachy and talking about money is never easy for a charity and I know there are those can afford nothing, but the issue of funding is a MASSIVE one and has to be addressed.
Without funding what would happen to the current structure? The way the charity is currently run is very effective for those it provides support for but is unsustainable. In a sentence – it can not continue in this way. Services would be scaled back, one on one support would go, the plans for research would not be realised and the face of HG will remain unchanged.
I am doing this today because it is so easy to put things off until tomorrow and then it gets forgotten along with good intentions. As Emma Watson so eloquently said in her speech recently ‘if not now, when?’
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