Fundraiser set to honour late baby’s life by helping others

by Sylvia Pownall

A grieving mother who lost her baby son to cot death has organised a fundraiser in his memory to mark the first anniversary of his passing.

Grainne Harford and her family will host a coffee morning at Swords Boxing Club on Sunday to celebrate the all-too-short life of baby JJ Harford.

On February 17 last year, baby JJ left his parents Grainne and Joey and sisters Amber and Ava heartbroken after he passed away as a result of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS).

Shortly after his tragic death, his brave siblings joined their mum and dad in organising a fundraiser for First Light, which supports families affected by SIDS.

Now, on his first anniversary, they are planning a second fundraiser for the organisation and its ambassador, Fair City actor Una Crawford O’Brien, will attend along with European boxing gold medallist Niamh Fay.

Grainne, who lives in Balbriggan, told Dublin Gazette: “We are trying to keep his memory alive while raising funds for such a worthy cause at the same time.

“The support has been great. I’ve been getting lovely messages from family and friends, and people I haven’t spoken to in years.”

Grainne said nothing could have prepared her for the heartbreak of losing her precious baby boy at just ten weeks, but his memory would live on.

She said: “Everyone who met JJ fell in love with him and we are devastated he is gone, but he will never be forgotten.

“He was so special to us all and the happiness he brought was incredible. My heart would just burst every time he smiled. I loved every second being with him.”

She added: “This past year has been the most difficult year of our family’s lives … We celebrated Christmas morning with our two daughters with the biggest pain in our hearts, wishing our son was here with his family.”

The coffee morning in aid of First Light takes place at Swords Boxing Club, Sluagh Hall, Estuary roundabout, this Sunday, February 16.

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