Rebecca Aziz is the 1st Runner Up of our 2013 Premmie Hero Volunteer Awards
Rebecca gave birth to her first child Zachariah at 41 weeks following a text-book pregnancy. Her second child Yasminah, was stillborn at 37 weeks and 4 days on the 26th March 2009 following a long and complicated pregnancy after being informed that her daughter had congenital abnormalities at their 21 week morphology scan. Her identical twin daughters, Aisha and Aaliyah were born at 31 weeks and 5 days on 16th December 2009 due to twin to twin transfusion syndrome. They spent 4 weeks in neonatal intensive care before coming home on Rebecca’s 29th birthday.
After her very personal and emotional journey after the heartbreaking loss of Yasminah, Rebecca founded Yasminah’s Gift Of Hope in 2010. The charity provides support and guidance for families who experience premature birth, pregnancy, neonatal and infant loss. Ensuring parents receive early, ongoing support, information and an opportunity to create lasting memories and keepsakes of their time with their child to treasure forever. Yasminah’s Gift of Hope provide hand designed Bereavement Gift Of Hope Journals to families that experience the loss of a child. These journals provide families a safe place to release the heartache, grief and memories of their child onto paper, in the hope of helping them heal whilst capturing the precious memories of the time they spent together.
Rebecca is a co-creator of the Premmie Gift of Hope Journal which is donated free to families who currently have a premature baby in an Australian hospital. The Premmie Gift Of Hope Journal was designed in 2010 to fit in the pocket of a child’s record book given to parents in hospital. The full colour journal contains 48 pages to fill with details of a child’s birth, hand and footprints and easy to understand articles about premature birth and the NICU. Two of the biggest hospitals that Yasminah’s Gift of Hope support are Westmead Hospital in NSW and the King Edward Memorial in WA. The charity directly provides the Premmie Gift of Hope journals to hospitals around the country with King Edward Memorial Hospital being the largest in distribution, with up to 100 Premmie Gift of Hope Journals being provided every few months. Each Christmas Rebecca visits Westmead Hospital where her twins spent their first Christmas, providing Gifts for premature and sick infants. During Rebecca’s visit to Westmead Hospital in 2012 Rebecca gave over 220 gifts to families with children in the NICU and PICU units from Yasminah’s Gift Of Hope.
Rebecca runs the charities website, Facebook page, and Facebook support groups, all of which offers a lifeline for families as well as giving parents peer support through their journey of NICU, SCN and the rollercoaster post hospital. Rebecca fills her days by co-ordinating volunteers, designing journals, packing and mailing journal support packs, attending meetings, taking phone calls from anxious parents, media appearances, fundraising and attending hospitals to give her individual support.
Rebecca’s passion to support families extends beyond her charity. Rebecca joined the committee of the National Premmie Foundation in 2011 and currently holds the position of Vice President.
Rebecca believes that families need support from someone who understands and has personally been through the experience of having a premature or sick infant, or the loss of a child. Rebecca hopes that the journals families receive in honour or memory of other babies born too soon becomes a treasured lifelong keepsake and helps make the time spent in NICU a little easier to absorb through the helpful articles and access to support.
Congratulations to Rebecca and thank you!