The GBSS Charity raises awareness of GBS, which is the biggest infection in new born babies and is the most common cause of meningitis and spsis in babies under three months. Group B Strep is a naturally occurring bacterium which approximately one in four pregnant women carry, usually without symptoms or side-effects. Since there are usually no symptoms of carrying Group B Strep, you will only find out you carry it through testing, which the UK currently do not routinely screen for in pregnancy. Kim & Ash have started a petition which they hope they will help change this and ensure all pregnant women are tested for GBS carriage, as is offered in 23 other countries worldwide. Please sign their petition at www.change.org/p/groupbstrep.
Ash and Kim recently lost their own baby; it was only then that they found out Kim was a carrier of GBS. They were so keen to get involved with the charity GBSS and raise as much awareness as possible to help the charity support other families. In addition to supporting the GBSS charity, Ash and Kim also set up their own charity, The Faith Cause, which is named after their still born daughter, Faith, and all the money they raise through this goes to the charity GBSS. For more information please visit their webstie www.thefaithcause.com.
“We had been expecting our fourth child last October and Kim was full term and nine days. We’d had all the scans and everything was fine, a perfect textbook pregnancy, but when Kim went into labour and we got to the hospital they told us they couldn’t find a heartbeat. The baby was stillborn and we sent the placenta, umbilical cord, bloods and swabs away for testing and high levels of GBS were found in both Kim and Faith. We didn’t know anything about GBS at the time and, it was only after to talking to others, we realised how many babies are affected by GBS. On average, one baby a week dies from Group B Strep infection. One baby a fortnight who survives the infection is left with long-term disabilities. We really wanted to be involved in raising awareness for other parents because we don’t want our loss to become another’s,” explains Ash.
“In the first weekend of July we took our three children to do the Manchester 5k colour run. The second event was the biggest one we did which was a fair in our local area. We had stalls and children’s entertainment and our local Mayor and MP came along to support us. Hundreds of people came along so we were thrilled with the turnout. On the third weekend, we did a sponsored walk across the Humber Bridge and had a picnic on the other side. We had buckets for donations with us and we were very surprised at how generous people were. On the final weekend we set up stalls in our home town, Grimsby, and we had leaflets and balloons. We raised money that day and we just wanted to hand out as many leaflets as possible,” adds Ash.
Alongside throwing himself into charity events, Ash is also responsible for sales and growth of InXpress UK. He travels the UK which has 85 franchisees as a business coach and co-owns InXpress County Durham, which his sister runs. Amazingly, he still found the time to graduate with a first-class honours degree in Business Management! It’s been a tough year for Ash but he says the hard work was worth it for his degree and to raise awareness of GBS so that others don’t have to go through the same ordeal.
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