FAMILY and friends stepped out in style to raise awareness of organ donation in memory of baby Miley Turbitt.
About 30 people – many wearing T-shirts bearing the 14-week-old’s face – joined forces for a sponsored walk along The Leas in South Shields.
The fundraiser was inspired by the In Miley’s Memory campaign, launched to generate more organs for transplant.
Miley, who suffered hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, died last November while waiting for a donor heart.
Sunday’s walk, organised by Pauline Newman and colleagues from Morrison’s store in Jarrow where Miley’s grandmother, Margaret Eckert, works, raised £488 for the Freeman Hospital unit where medical staff battled to save Miley’s life.
The event, which started at the Bamburgh Pub in South Shields and went to Souter Lighthouse, was attended by Deputy Mayor and Mayoress, Coun Ernest Gibson and Patricia Ridley.
Miley’s mum, Sharon Eckert, 38, of Westmorland Road, South Shields, said: “I was really pleased with the number of people who turned up.
“I would just like to thank everyone who came along and helped to raise quite a bit of money for the heart unit – especially Pauline who organised it.
“The support the campaign has generated has been fantastic. It has been a bit overwhelming as it’s more than I ever thought we would get.”
Coun Gibson said: “It was great to see so many turning out to support such a worthy cause.
“I think Sharon is such a brave woman to be doing this so soon after Miley’s death. She really is an inspiration.
“It’s amazing what she is doing, turning a tragedy around into something that will save and enhance other lives.”
In Miley’s Memory – supported by the Gazette – aims to raise awareness of organ donation and encourage people to sign up to the register.
The family is also campaigning for a change in the organ donation system to one where a person is automatically registered unless they opt out.
* Miley Turbitt’s older sister, Yasmin Eckert, was in Kirkpatricks bar in Ocean Road, South Shields, on Saturday night to raise awareness of the In Miley’s Memory campaign.
More than 100 people signed the petition and 15 signed up to the organ donation register.