Mum takes on fun run in son’s memory
An Upper Hutt mum is tackling a charity walk this Mother’s Day - more than a decade after she lost her hours-old son.
Carol Brabyn will be walking the Jennian Homes Mother’s Day fun run and walk at Porirua’s Aotea Lagoon on Sunday in memory her first son, Hunter.
Hunter, who was born in 2006, lived just 13 hours after he was born with transposition of the great arteries - a heart defect.
‘‘Within a minute of his birth, he was fighting for his life,’’ Brabyn said.
Further complications meant doctors were unable to operate to try to save Hunter.
Brabyn will join more than 10,000 runners and walkers in 32 other events around the country in an effort to raise funds for the Heart Foundation.
She had not heard of the event before this year but immediately thought it would be a good thing to do.
‘‘My son would have been 12 next month and it’s just something that felt right to do this year. I noticed it was for Heart Foundation and I was keen to support them.’’
Brabyn felt a strong connection to the Heart Foundation’s cause not only because of Hunter, but because both her father and farther-in-law died in their 40s of heart disease.
Despite the increased possibility her next child being born with the same problem, Brabyn and her husband decided to have another child. Jackson was born in 2009 and monitoring early in her pregnancy ensured he was not afflicted with the same condition as Hunter.
‘‘I knew soon after [Hunter’s death] that I wanted another child. He’s been a window of light in our lives.’’
With the 2018 Round the Bays already under her belt, Brabyn said she should knock off the Porirua event without much trouble. This year, the Heart Foundation celebrates its 50th anniversary. Jennian Homes Mother’s Day Fun Run/Walk, in association with the Heart Foundation, helps raise awareness of heart disease in women.
Heart disease is NewZealand’s single biggest killer, claiming the lives of more than 6000 Kiwis every year – that’s one life every 90 minutes.
Over the years, the Heart Foundation has donated over $65 million to lifesaving cardiac research and specialist cardiac training.
Carol Brabyn has the full support of her son, Jackson, 9, as she takes on the Jennian Homes Mother’s Day Fun Run/Walk at Porirua’s Aotea Lagoon on Mother’s Day.