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The rainbow coloured beard

Grant Fraser I've been growing my beard since my daughter Aimee's service day on the 23rd of July 2010 ....

On Aimee's birthday the 27th of June 2011, I will be dying my beard the SOFT UK rainbow colours (now dyed) and wearing it for nearly a month before shaving it off on the 22nd of July live at The Fox public house, Holgate, York where a barbeque (weather permitting) & a raffle will also be held with all proceeds for SOFT UK.
A little about why I'm raising money for Soft UK.....SOFT UK is not government funded so fundraising is very important for the charity. Our newly born daughter Aimee Melody was born & died on the 27th of June 2010. Aimee lived for 44 minutes & my partner Claire & I spent 20 wonderful minutes holding & talking to Aimee before she peacefully passed away in our arms.

We realised Aimee had Trisomy 13 (Patau Syndrome) when my partner, Claire was 21 weeks into her pregnancy. Nothing can prepare you to how you should feel when you are told that your baby has problems. Only a small percentage of Trisomy 13 babies reach their 1st birthday. In some cases, some babies do reach their teens and adulthood. Like everyone in our situation, we craved information & needed to speak to someone that understood our situation & that is when we found SOFT UK - the support organisation for Trisomy 13/18 & related disorders.

When we knew that there was a dedicated charity that understood our position, we felt as if the biggest weight had been lifted off our shoulders. SOFT UK is unbiased on every level and as well as their fantastic website they produce booklets, “Your Unborn Baby” and “Your Baby” to give to parents so they have all the up to date information and also support contacts to speak to people direct. SOFT UK gave me the strength to ask the right medical questions and face the difficult choices that we had or may have had to make.

Luckily, while Claire was still pregnant, we jumped at the opportunity to attend SOFT UK’s Annual Family Weekend where there was conference held with talks from professionals, and we met parents that were pregnant, have lost a baby/child and parents that have babies or children with Trisomy13/18 or related disorders. We were really glad that we attended the SOFT UK Conference and it really helped us knowing that other parents understood what we were going through.

We have just been to our second Soft UK's family weekend and as expected, a fantastic weekend. I can not thank SOFT UK enough for the support that they gave and continue giving us. I feel honoured and very proud to raise money for SOFT UK and If it was my full time job I know in my lifetime I will ever be able to repay back the support and friendship that SOFT UK unselfishly gave us but we can at least try. I and other families realise the importance of SOFT UK and without fundraising, they could not continue to give others what they gave to us.

Thanks to the understanding and positive impact that SOFT UK had on me, I am a stronger, more positive person that is happy and proud to talk about his little baby daughter Aimee Melody, who has brought our families & friends even closer together.

Kind regards from very proud parents,

Grant & Claire

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