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Cheryl shuns 21st party to raise money for miscarriage charity

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By Fiona Reid
Cheryl shuns 21st party to raise money for miscarriage charity

A MISCARRIAGE sufferer who feels let down by the lack of support available to couples locally is campaigning for more help.

Cheryl Candlish, of Lochmaben, suffered a miscarriage earlier this year and was stunned at the lack of support afterwards.

She has now decided to shun a 21st birthday party in favour of raising awareness and money for the Miscarriage Association and will complete the Tough Mudder challenge this weekend.

She said: “I always thought I would have a party for my 21st but since the miscarriage the last thing I’ve felt like doing is celebrating. The smallest of tasks have been so difficult both physically and mentally.

“Tough Mudder is helping me to focus my energy on something productive, and having the opportunity to raise money for the Miscarriage Association definitely makes it a worthwhile way to spend my 21st birthday.”

In February Cheryl miscarried at six to seven weeks into her pregnancy.

She said: “I found out I was pregnant very early on and, although it came as a shock, my partner and I soon became very excited about having a baby together.

Then naturally we were devastated in realising we had lost our baby.”

Upon noticing signs of a possible miscarriage Cheryl called her GP.

She said: “I was told I had most likely lost my baby and that was pretty much the extent of the conversation. I felt so angry.

“I still remember the day so clearly: I spent the rest of it crying and trying to convince myself that perhaps I had been pregnant with twins and had only lost one baby. Unfortunately that wasn’t the case.”

The next day Cheryl went to hospital and was also disappointed at the level of support shown but did praise one sympathetic nurse in A&E and a doctor in gynaecology.

She said: “Unfortunately the only support I was offered was a small miscarriage leaflet which just gave loads of percentages of how many women miscarry.

“This is something the doctors kept repeating to me, as if somehow that was supposed to make me feel better.

“I didn’t care about other women, I just cared about my baby.”

Cheryl does not want other couples to go through the same thing and said: “I cannot stress how important it is to raise awareness about miscarriages.

“After my own experience I can say with certainty that there is nowhere near enough support available for couples during this horrific time.

“I want to raise awareness so other women and their partners get more support than I did.”

She added: “Without my partner, family and a few friends I’d still be at the stage of never being able to leave the house. “I still struggle with outings if they include a large group of people, but with their support this is slowly improving.”


FUNDRAISER . . . Cheryl Candlish

DUMFRIES and Galloway NHS say they understand how distressing miscarriages can be.

A spokeswoman for the region’s NHS said: “Miscarriage can be a very distressing experience both emotionally and physically.

“When women are referred into the health service the care that is provided will depend on individual circumstances.”

She said a team, including medical, sonography, midwifery and nursing staff, provide miscarriage sufferers with information and support.

The spokeswoman added: “Women and their partners experience a variety of different emotions at various stages, some for a considerable period of time after the miscarriage happens.

“Therefore, it is important to inform women of the ongoing support that is available from organisations such as the Miscarriage Association and the local group Frendz. We do this by providing contact details in our patient information leaflets.”

Dumfries and Galloway stillbirth and neonatal death charity, Sands are happy to offer support to women who have suffered miscarriages.

A charity representative explained that although they focus on stillbirth and neonatal deaths, they would never turn away any woman who had suffered a miscarriage. Sands can be contacted by calling 07864709228.

Visit to sponsor Cheryl


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