A Dunfermline couple are raising money for charity after losing their baby to a rare medical condition.
Jen Campbell and Phil Cowie’s son Eli passed away just 10 days after a straightforward birth and pregnancy.
Now they are supporting charities Ronald McDonald House and Together for Short Lives, by walking from the Glasgow hospital Eli was treated at, to their home in Dunfermline.
The 44-mile trek, on Saturday September 4, will take more than 12 hours to complete.
The couple have already raised thousands of pounds via a fundraising page.
Jen said: “Eli was born four weeks early but there was no concern over that.
“When he was three days old, he started to get sick.”
Medics at the Royal Hospital for Children in Glasgow carried out tests and scans to help diagnose the source of Eli’s sickness.
Despite their best efforts, young Eli passed away on December 23 2020.
It was later found that his illness was caused by an uncommon fungal infection called rhizopus.
Jen, 29, said: “My partner wanted to try and make it better for other people going through something similar.
“These charities made things easier for us when everything was so overwhelming.”
Fundraising ‘has gained momentum’
The couple will be joined by friends and family for a couple of miles along the way.
But as Eli’s parents, Jen and Phil are keen to be the only two completing the entire journey.
“I started the fundraising page in July and it’s gained so much momentum,” Jen said.
“It helped us meet parents who have also lost their babies.
“Even just through social media, it also helped to open the conversation on this.
‘We still want to talk about Eli’
“We speak about Eli in a different way from how other people speak about their children, but we still want to talk about him.”
During Eli’s illness, the family were given accommodation at Ronald McDonald House -to save them the journeys to and from Dunfermline.
Meanwhile, Together for Short Lives donated a grant to help support Jen and Phil – as they had to take time off work.
Jen said: “The grant went through after Eli had passed, so we told the charity to keep it.
“But they insisted we keep the money, so we used it to help us memorialise him.”
The couple put the money towards a memorial bench, which was installed at nearby Townhill Loch.
“Obviously, he never got to go there,” Jen added.
“But I always thought I’d be there with the pram a lot.”
The couple recently got engaged when Phil, 31, proposed to Jen with a ring containing Eli’s birthstone – a topaz.