Beach run will ease heartache
Rebekah and Chris Madureira with sons Lucas and Isaac. Picture: Nic Ellis/The West Australian

This Sunday will be a special time in the hearts of Rebekah and Chris Madureira - it is the day their baby girl Emilia would have turned one.

Their beautiful daughter was diagnosed with a rare congenital heart defect soon after she was born on February 10 and died four days later, on Valentine's Day.

The Merriwa couple will mark the day by completing the SIDS and Kids WA Sunshine Beach Run, an event dedicated to people affected by the loss of a child.

Mrs Madureira said she had received a lot of support, including free counselling, through SIDS and Kids WA and the run taking place on the same day as Emilia's birthday "felt like a bit of a sign".

She said the past year had been hard but she tried to focus on the positives, including her two older children Lucas, 5, and Isaac, 2, who gave her a reason to get up in the morning.

"It's been challenging, definitely, but you've got to look for good things as well, not just focus on the negatives," Mrs Madureira said.

The SIDS and Kids WA Sunshine Beach Run is an initiative of West Coast Eagles physiotherapist Chris Perkins, who lost his wife Cindy to a mysterious illness seven days after she gave birth to their stillborn son Jake in 2009.

Last year, the entire Eagles squad attended the event and members of the team are expected to take part this year.

The Sunshine Beach Run is on Sunday at City Beach and participants can choose to run or walk 5km, 3km or 1km. To register visit www.sunshinebeachrun.com.au .

The West Australian

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