Did you know that 100% of funds raised from Charlotte & Théo’s Butterfly Run Ottawa/Gatineau go to Roger Neilson House?
That means that 100% from every cent raised through your registrations and fundraising efforts supports palliative care and bereavement programs at Roger Neilson House. We at The Butterfly Run do not take a single cent of these funds. Instead, we rely on sponsorships and our separate fundraising initiatives (ex. the Silent Auction) to cover the overhead costs of the Run, because we want to ensure that all of your personal registrations and fundraising efforts go directly back to supporting those in our community!
Why do we choose to support Roger Neilson House?
For starters, Roger Neilson House offers palliative care and bereavement programs for parents, grandparents, and siblings who lose a pregnancy after 20 weeks of gestation, a child at birth, or within a year after birth.
Secondly, Roger Neilson House has provided a huge amount of support to our community and many of our Committee members would like to share what this support meant to their families.
“We had never heard of Roger Neilson House. After receiving Charlotte's terminal diagnosis, we met with the Palliative Care Team from RNH to make the best medical decisions for Charlotte. Luckily for us, Charlotte defied the odds and managed to breath on her own. After making it through the night at the NICU we moved to RNH. Expecting to only stay for a matter of hours or a day, we were blessed to live there with Charlotte for 37 days. We were able to live like a family while Charlotte received the medical attention she needed.
During our stay at Roger Neilson House we lived as much as we could, we had late night walks, showers, story time, mommy and me yoga, wished on a shooting star and watched movies. We celebrated Thanksgiving, Charlotte’s 1 month birthday and Halloween, where she got to dress up, decorate a pumpkin and go through a haunted house.
Roger Neilson House will always be Charlotte's home. She now has a star there to mark her place in the house. We are so thankful for our time at RNH, as well as everything they have done for us since. I attended the Perinatal Loss Bereavement Group, received one on one counselling and have recently started going to the Pregnancy After Loss Support Group.
I am honoured to be co-chairing Charlotte and Théo's Butterfly Run, in Charlotte's memory. Knowing every dollar raised goes to RNH and the wonderful programs and supports they offer families in the most difficult times.”
Anne-Marie Warren, Charlotte’s mom and Co-Chair of Charlotte & Théo’s Butterfly Run Ottawa/Gatineau
“Roger Nielson house is so much more than a care facility. What they offer is so much more than programming and support. They give hope. They give community and they create legacy.
After our son Théo passed away unexpectedly on October 26, 2017, at only 8 hours old, we were forced to return to our home with empty arms. We were left feeling alone to put back the pieces of our broken hearts and dreams. The loss of our son was devastating. We didn’t know how to move forward in this new reality of life as bereaved parents. Thankfully, a few days later we were put in contact with Carol, a social worker from RNH. Carol made sure we were well supported. She told us about all the different services they provide. We were enrolled in a perinatal loss group, as well as counselling as a couple and independently.
It was in the group where I met my Sisters In Loss, four other women in similar situations to mine who are also on this journey as newly bereaved families. This community has transformed my experience and I have RNH to thank for this.
I can’t imagine this journey without the comfort that Roger Nielson House has provided us. I’ve learned that my grief comes from a place of pure love for my son. I’ve found a place for all that love to go now. It is my hope that through Théo’s Butterfly Run this year, his legacy can be making this support more widely available and accessible.”
Claire Pagé, Théo’s mom and Co-Chair of Charlotte & Théo’s Butterfly Run Ottawa/Gatineau
“We lost our our son Carter at 38 weeks to an unexplainable stillbirth. When we started our search for grief support there was only one place that recognized our situation and offered us support and that was RNH. We received family counselling, one on one support and were matched with another bereaved family so we could connect with people who truly understood what we were going through. Carol and her team also provided support during our rainbow pregnancy as that journey (although different) was equally as hard emotionally as our loss journey. I became involved with the Butterfly Run as I knew that every penny raised from the race registrations would go directly back to the team that helped our family heal.”
Julia Winslow, Carter’s mom and Run Director for Charlotte & Théo’s Butterfly Run Ottawa/Gatineau
“Roger Neilson House proved to be lifeline in a hopeless situation when my husband and I learned that our son would be born with a severe heart defect. We had made the plan to palliate our son Lachlan, and the doctors and counsellors at Roger Neilson House helped us in this difficult time. Through counselling I prepared for Lachlan's birth and what his short life would look like.
As it turns out, Lachlan would die on the very day he was scheduled to be born. He was born at 38 weeks stillborn. The Roger Neilson House staff continued to provide support to us - arranging a photographer, and doing hand and feet casts for Lachlan and his big sister and brother.
In the months following Lachlan's death my husband and I received both individual counselling for our grief and began attending a group bereavement group at Roger Neilson House. Our 5 year old son Lucas also attends the sibling bereavement group offered, and he loves going and getting to talk about his little brother.
I don't know where we would be without the support and guidance everyone at Roger Neilson House has provided us.”
Emily Cordonier, Lachlan’s mom and Media Director for Charlotte & Théo’s Butterfly Run Ottawa/Gatineau
“We unexpectedly lost our son Trevor at 35 weeks after going into labour and arriving at the hospital to find no heartbeat. Upon delivering the placenta the cause of the Trevor's loss became quite apparent, I had had what is called a silent placental abruption. The doctor told us there was a blood clot almost the size of the placenta and if it had reputed, I very likely would have died as well. In the weeks that followed Trevor's loss I had completely shut down and wasn't functioning. I don't recall much of it or how we were connected but I was put in contact with RNH. At the time a perinatal loss bereavement session was running and Carole told me I could join even though it had started already.
I joined. I met other Moms and a couple who had experienced stillbirth and for the first time I wasn't alone. Yes I had my husband but his way of dealing was to bury himself in work after the funeral.
The weekly sessions continued and I began to open up about Trevor and we talked about how our baby's are still part of our families and ways to honour them and include them. I slowly began to heal. After our session was over my husband who wasn't able to attend the bereavement session and I were able to see a social worker together as a couple. We didn't know how to talk to each about Trevor and I was starting to notice the strain this was putting on our marriage. Our social work was absolutely amazing she helped us is so many ways and ways we didn't even know we needed help.
A star ceremony was held, and a star for Trevor was added to the wall. Every Christmas we go now for the tree ceremony and our two girls, one our rainbow baby and one the big sister make decorations for the tree and then get to place them on the tree.
Even now I will periodically email back and forth with our social worker or I pop in to see Trevor's star on the wall. I hope our oldest will be able to attend the sibling program when she is a little bigger. She is starting to talk about Trevor a lot even though she was only 13 months old when he was born.
RNH has become such an important place in our families lives. I support them and the Butterfly Run so that no family experiencing loss has to be alone and has access to such an amazing resource and community.”
Sarah Dykstra, Trevor’s mom and Fundraising Director for Charlotte & Théo’s Butterfly Run Ottawa/Gatineau
Thank you for supporting Charlotte & Théo’s Butterfly Run. It is our hope that through fundraising and awareness building, we can better support individuals and families who experience miscarriage, the loss of a child, or infertility.