A GRATEFUL mum-of-three is fund-raising for a charity which helped her during a devastating string of miscarriages.
Monica Thorpe, 27, of Forest Crescent, Illingworth, experienced years of heartache when trying for a baby.
She suffered two miscarriages before she was 20, when her third pregnancy saw her give birth to daughter Amelia, now six.
But her next two pregnancies ended in a miscarriage – the third at eight weeks.
Mrs Thorpe said: “I had to have an operation. It was really hard, physically and emotionally with the third.
“I went into myself a bit. I didn’t want to speak to anyone.
“You grieve, definitely. I think you need to.
“You have still lost a child, even though the child wasn’t physically born. You’ve still made plans in your head about where this child will fit into the family.”
After her third miscarriage, Mrs Thorpe demanded tests and it emerged she had a condition called antiphospholipid syndrome, which causes blood clots and can block a placenta.
The condition is treatable with just an aspirin a day and she went on to have two more healthy babies – Joseph, now four, and Ava, one – with husband Chris, 33.
She said doctors still did not know how she had managed to carry Amelia to full-term.
During the difficult time, Mrs Thorpe was helped by the charity Tommy’s, which has an information-packed website and a 24-hour fully-staffed helpline.
She has now signed up to run the Bupa 10k next year and has organised a glitzy ball to raise cash for the charity, which says 15 per cent of pregnancies end in miscarriage.
Mrs Thorpe said: “I don’t think people realise how high the rate is.
“I’ve wanted to do something to raise money for Tommy’s for a long time. Pregnancy and baby loss is a taboo subject, even in this current age, and I feel anything that can be done to promote awareness and enable more research is vital.”
The Viva Las Vegas Ball has a casino theme and takes place at The Venue, Barkisland, on Saturday March 10.
Tickets cost £40 each or £350 for a table of ten, including a meal and $100 play money. £5 pays for an extra $100.
Guests will be asked to each burst a balloon – which can be bought at the beginning of the night – to win the chance of a prize.
The player with the most chips at the end of the night will also win a prize.
Businesses or anyone who wants to donate a prize for the ball, or to buy tickets, contact Mrs Thorpe on 07756 503673 or email@example.com.