Around one in four people experience miscarriage or pregnancy loss, according to BC Women’s Hospital, and one in six struggle with infertility.
While a common problem, many people suffer alone.
The Pacific Perinatal Foundation started the Healing Hearts run and walk with the goal to raise funds and awareness on infertility, pregnancy loss and infant loss while offering a community-building space for parents who have struggled with these issues, the organization said.
The second-annual event takes place Sept. 23 at Royal Roads University with a goal to raise $55,000 to support families with counselling, programs and support.
“There is no public funding for support services for bereaved families. Everyone should have access to compassionate, wrap-around care,” said Dr. Kim MacDonald, co-founder of Pacific Perinatal Foundation.
While accurate data about reproductive trauma is challenging to obtain, partly because pregnancy-related events often occur outside of medical institutions, in B.C. each year there are an estimated 11,000 to 14,000 early pregnancy losses, 500 to 600 stillbirths and 12 to 15 per cent of couples will struggle with infertility, the organization said. Early pregnancy loss and infertility often occur with minimal or no medical support leaving people alone to navigate the impact.
Last year, 200 attended the fundraiser and organizers say the scope is growing this year.
“Last year, our focus was gathering community but we have since formed a charitable organization and this year we are raising money with 100 per cent of funds used to help community supports like counselling, mindfulness programming, bereavement boxes, peer-to-peer support for local people and families in Victoria and South Island,” said Stephanie Curran, co-founder of the foundation.
Healing Hearts takes place Sept. 23 from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. at Royal Roads University, 2005 Sooke Rd.
Register at pacificperinatalfoundation.com.