25 years on and thousands of lives saved but SIDS and Kids still needs your support

When Kirby Simpson woke last year to discover her four-month-old daughter had stopped breathing, Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) didn’t cross her mind as a reason for her death. Kirby was like many others who thought that SIDS was something that happened in the ‘80s.

Now only a year after losing her daughter Maggie, Kirby is sharing her story in the hope that it will raise awareness about SIDS and help save other families from experiencing a similar tragedy.

This Friday 29 June is Red Nose Day and every Australian is being encouraged to buy Red Nose Day product to help recognise 25 years of supporting the 3,500 families like Kirby’s who are devastated by the death of a baby or child every year.

Whilst SIDS and Kids have helped to dramatically reduce the incidence of SIDS since 1988, CEO of SIDS and Kids Australia, Leanne Raven, said stories like Kirby’s show why there has never been a more important time to get involved.

SIDS and Kids has helped save thousands of babies’ lives through education and community awareness programs, devoting $16 million into researching the possible causes of unexplained infant death, stillbirth, neonatal death and SIDS, yet unfortunately there are still so many Australians who go through the heartbreak of losing a baby or child,” Ms Raven said.

Thousands of families, friends, communities and volunteers touched by the loss of a baby or child will be donning a red nose this Friday.

“There are lots of ways the Australian public can support us this month – whether it is purchasing an item of our Red Nose Day product, making a donation or hosting an event at your workplace and asking employees to make a gold coin donation,” Leanne said.

A host of retailers including Target, Best & Less and Big W will be selling merchandise until the end of the month and all proceeds will go towards providing vital bereavement support services, research and education.

Australians can also support the cause by uploading a photo of themselves, their friends and family or even a pet wearing a red nose to the website or via the free ‘Red Nose Me’ iPhone App. Pictures will then appear in a gallery on the ‘Red Nose Me’ website.

A number of high profile Australians are getting behind the 25th anniversary of Red Nose Day including The Wiggles, Chrissie Swan, Sophie Falkiner, Julie Goodwin, Scherri-Lee Biggs, Catriona Rowntree and Michael Klim.

Ambassador and mother of two, Chrissie Swan, says that she can’t bear the idea of losing a child.

“By simply buying a red nose we can contribute to life-saving research and for those of us fortunate enough, celebrate how lucky we are to have our children,” she said.

For Kirby, this Red Nose Day will be bittersweet, “I didn’t get the answers I was after about why my little girl was taken too soon but I hope that, through SIDS and Kids, one day I can.”

This Friday all Australians are urged to stick on a nose, slap on a smile and show your support for the 25th anniversary of Red Nose Day.

To find out more about where to purchase Red Nose Day merchandise and for fundraising ideas visit www.rednoseday.com.au or for ‘Red Nose Me’ details visit www.rednoseme.com

Media enquiries and interviews:

For more information, high resolution images, local case studies and interviews with Leanne Raven (CEO SIDS and Kids) or Kirby Simpson please contact:

Julia Lee, Haystac (P) 03 9693 2268, (M) 0421 396 570, (E) julia.lee@haystac.com.au

Georgia Brumby, Haystac (P) 03 9693 6530, (M) 0401 097 176, (E) georgia.brumby@haystac.com.au

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