“We were trying to make something positive out of such a tragic situation.”
Those were the words of Gemma and Karl Murphy who have raised more than £20,000 for the charity Tiny Lives, after losing their five-day-old daughter Lana Kaye in October 2014.
Lana Kaye died from two rare complications, including a blood clot in the umbilical cord.
After her death, the couple, who are originally from Jarrow, decided to raise as much money as possible in her memory for the charity.
Now, their hard work has been recognised with a nomination as Fundraiser of the Year, in the Gazette’s Best of South Tyneside Awards.
The Best of South Tyneside Awards have a headline sponsor in Siemens and are being held in association with The Customs House – with Port of Tyne, BT South Tyneside, Barbour, David Gray Solicitors, South Tyneside Homes, UK Asbestos and Harlow Print as category sponsors.
Gemma, 31, a teacher at Longbenton Community College, said: “Our daughter was the main reason why we are doing all this fundraising, as we are trying to keep her memory alive.
“We started fundraising in February 2015 when we held our first charity football match and since then all of our charity events have just snowballed from there.
“I think Tiny Lives is one of those charities that don’t get widely recognised.”
Gemma and Karl, an applications developer for Ebac, organised a charity match to support the Tiny Lives charity after the tragedy, and held the event again this year with friends and family joining to help raise the impressive sum.
Of the nomination Gemma said: “I am quite surprised and overwhelmed.
“When we started the charity work we didn’t think we would be awarded for anything, we just wanted to support the charity that cared for Lana and helped us. It is nice to be acknowledged and we are really happy and overwhelmed with the amount of support everyone has given us.”