During the Camels for Cuddles Charity Camel Trek we raised awareness of infant, Neo-natal, fetal & miscarriage deaths the things we don't like to talk about, but happens everyday.
We're collected donations along the way for community Cuddle Cots for Regional Gippsland towns (servicing East Gippsland & Beyond).
Tara Lea walked (not rode) with her camels in memory of infant son Noah Lea Osborne passed on at 4 days old December 2015 & brother Corey Briede, passed on at 32 years May 2016.
Tara Lea with camels: Jack, Coco & Syhid on Camels for Cuddles 150km Charity Camel Trek, Gippsland Rail Trail
Living rurally shouldn't mean that parents have to skip part of the bereavement process and have their baby taken away shortly after birth ('in a box'). The cuddle cot is for parents to take their baby home (if they wish) like they always intended and allow close family to cuddle, kiss and admire their beautiful family member.
We (Russell & Tara) never got this opportunity to bring our baby boy Noah home in December 2015 due to no cuddle cot in our local area, 3 hours from Melbourne. We would have loved to have our children hold their baby brother as they eagerly wanted to. Now we want to bless other families with this opportunity in such great breaking times. Moments they will cherish forever in the short time they get with their baby(ies).
Russell Osborne & Tara Lea with infant son Noah on his passing day, December 2015
A Cuddle Cot is a small cooling mat (like an electric blanket) and is designed for use with deceased babies in any moses basket or cot. It's designed for bereaved families to be used at home or used within hospitals/maternity department so families can have time, cuddles and kisses with their baby(ies) before saying their final good byes. A Cuddle Cot is worth $5000, our aim is to raise this amount and any remainder will be kept for collection of purchasing another Cuddle Cot for the wider Gippsland community.
Our vision is to see The entire Gippsland Region aware of the Community Cuddle Cot in the unfortunate event of a baby dying in the community. It could be you, it could be a family member, it could be your friends, it could be your friend friends, or your friends friends friends... We didn't never thought it could happen to 'us'.
The statistics prove that 6 babies in Australia die each day, there is a need for supporting bereaved families with the time to grieve at their own pace, it's our duty as the community to dismiss the taboo subject and begin to honour the babies journey as well as the parents, family & friends.
It's something we wished that we had for Noah. We were lucky enough to have cuddles with him after his final breathe in a Melbourne Hospital, but unable to 'bring him home' as all parents wish to. We (Russell & Tara) never got this opportunity to bring Noah home due to no cuddle cot available for loan in our local area, 3 1/2 hours from Melbourne. We would have loved to have our children hold their baby brother as they eagerly wanted to and say our goody byes gradually. Since we now realise the importance of grieving to bereaved families we want to bless other families with this opportunity, the opportunity that we didn't get, but through Noah's legacy to make an important loving statement to grieving families.
This Charity Camel Trek trek, 153km following the famous heritage Gippsland Rail Trail line from Traralgon to Statrford, then back roads from Stratford, Fernbank, Lindenow & arrive at Bairnsdale to commence the Rail Trail back home to our Australian Camels farm in Nicholson, VIC (East Gippsland).
We walked for 9 days visiting rural towns along the way making known that the community cuddle cot is available for loan to any bereaved parents, not if, but when this occurs in our local community. 6 babies in Australia die from stillbirths, miscarriage, infant death and SIDS each DAY. It's our aim to spread the awareness that this happens every day and we should be talking about this more. There's nothing more a bereaved parents wants to hear than her passed away baby's name.
Living rurally shouldn't mean that parents have to skip part of the bereavement process and have their baby taken away shortly after birth. The cuddle cot is for parents to take their baby home (if they wish) like they always intended and allow close family to cuddle, kiss and admire their beautiful family member.
Tara drew great strength from this VERY SPECIAL blanket that 'Syhid' carried along the trek. It has a list of baby names on it that had passed on too soon, used with permission from bereaved parents. The blanket is double sided.
Tara walking the camels across Mitchell River Bridge in Bairnsdale while the local police stopped the traffic on October 25th 2016.
Many supporters walk along.
153km Charity Camel Trek (walk)
Nicholson - final destination
Charity Camel Trek, Camels for Cuddles Vlog #1
Charity Camel Trek, Camels for Cuddles Vlog #2