A MUM has walked 310,000 steps and raised hundreds of pounds in memory of her baby daughter who died at just one week old.
Natasha Cashmore, 32, was devastated when daughter Grace Houghton began to display symptoms of an infection shortly after her birth on September 30, 2009.
Grace had been born via an emergency Caesarean section, after Natasha was admitted to hospital with suspected appendicitis.
But after seven days, doctors who began to worry about the baby’s condition performed a lumbar puncture - inserting a hollow needle between the bones of the lower back and into fluid around the spinal cord - to assess whether infection was present.
Grace died two hours after the procedure.
The shock would be enough to turn any parent’s world upside-down - but spurred on by support from her family, nurse Natasha found a way through.
Last year, Natasha completed a skydive for Sheffield Children’s Hospital - which supported the family after Grace’s death - on what would have been her daughter’s tenth birthday.
And the mum from Melton Avenue, Brampton, was set to follow the feat up by completing the Yorkshire Three Peaks before this was cancelled due to Covid-19.
Undeterred, she instead decided to complete the 310,000 steps challenge throughout October in support of stillbirth and neonatal death charity Sands.
The charity helps bereaved parents through telephone and email services, as well as training hospital staff to ensure they can properly care for parents who’ve lost their children.
“Sands is great in supporting bereaved parents and siblings, and like many charities they need that funding to continue doing what they are doing,” said Natasha.
“Anyway, as the coronavirus is starting to increase again, I thought still, what a fantastic way to raise funds without breaking any restrictions for travelling.
“To achieve the steps throughout October, it worked out at 10,000 steps a day - however, I completed the challenge in 24 days.
“To me, raising money for any charity is a great legacy for my daughter.
“I can’t take all the credit though cos at the weekends my son was by my side and he is a trooper.”
Natasha was joined by son Caiden, nine, as she completed the challenge - which also marked the date Grace died, October 7.
She walked in all weathers, logging up to - and occasionally more than - five miles a day.
“Doing events like this hammers home the importance of helping each other out, and I am so so proud I am able to do it in my daughter’s name,” she said.
“The question is though what challenge awaits next.”
To donate, find Natasha on Facebook or search for ‘310,000 steps for Grace’.
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Mum raises cash for close-to-heart charity
Author: Luke Watson
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