A fund-raiser helping a stillbirth charity has been given a massive boost thanks to a lovely gesture from a Wigan Warriors star.
Rugby league prop Taulima Tautai has donated his Grand Final winner’s ring to be auctioned at Sarah Elliott’s event Footprints for Sands at Kilhey Court.
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Sarah, from Standish Lower Ground, is putting on the black-tie event to help the neonatal death and stillbirth charity as she lost her son Theo before he was born to Twin to Twin Transfusion Syndrome (TTTS).
And the story struck a chord with the Australian, whose wife is already friends with Sarah as their sons briefly went to the same school, as his family also lost their nephew Nifae as he was stillborn.
His decision to offer the ring he won at Old Trafford in 2016 to swell the coffers has left Sarah stunned and massively increased interest in her fund-raiser.
Sarah, 34, said: “My phone went crazy the day I put it on social media. I’ve had people asking how much I want for it and it’s got a bit out of control.
“It’s a huge and really nice gesture. I didn’t quite appreciate just how generous it was until people started bombarding me with messages.
“It’s brilliant and just what we needed because it’s really lifted the whole profile of the event.
“It blows you away sometime that people you haven’t known all that long are willing to do something like this. There are some good people around and it’s nice to see that.
“His wife said she would get hold of something for the event and then I got a message with a picture of the ring saying he wanted to donate it.”
Sarah said she is pleased the donation offer came with a message explaining the Tautai family’s personal experience of stillbirth.
One of the reasons for her fund-raiser is to encourage people to talk more about babies who don’t make it such as Theo, who died in her womb but harrowingly had to be carried before he was delivered along with healthy brother Hugo at 34 weeks.
Sarah said: “Raising money is one thing but the reason for doing this is getting people to talk about it.
“I think it’s good for people who have been through something similar as it can be part of the healing.
“I want to say the names of babies like Theo for people to remember them. Taulima Tautai’s wife also has a post up online saying they are helping and it is for their nephew.”
Unfortunately the fund-raiser is taking place on October 13 which means Taulima could be busy in the Grand Final in Manchester that night.
Sarah is hoping the Warriors make it to the final showdown of the season and he can win another ring as he has donated his 2016 one.
Find out more about the event for Sands by searching for Footprints for Sands on Facebook or following @FootprintsSANDS on Twitter.