Sometimes, life is bitter-sweet. Baby Millie Brear, aged just six weeks and five days old, died after being featured in a charity calendar inspired by the TV series Call The Midwife. The tragic event almost halted the fundraiser, the Daily Mail reports.
Millie appears in two pictures for the annual fundraising effort by the midwifery group Miracle in Progress. Her picture was taken at Jules Photography in Leicester, and just a couple of weeks later she died of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) on March 19.
Inspired by the BBC show, the calendar features midwives and babies in 12 pictures, each representing a certain month. The show, set in the 1950s, is very popular and the calendar was expected to raise about £5,000 for three baby charities.
Millie’s mother Chloe, from Derbyshire, told the Leicester Mercury her daughter’s death should not stop the project. “I took Millie along in the hope that she could help out with the cause,” she explained.
Millie, pictured, died just before the calendar’s release, leading organisers to consider canceling the charity fundraiser.
‘We had a lovely morning, thanks to Miracle in Progress and Jules Photography. We’re very lucky that Millie had the opportunity to take part in the photo shoot – a precious memory that we will forever cherish. We decided to go ahead and allow Millie’s pictures to be used for the calendar as it is an amazing cause and we want to help raise awareness to other parents,” the grief-stricken mother said.
Chloe went on to add: “We hope her perfect little face makes people smile, like it does us. And we will be forever grateful for the memories and cherished photos we now have of our little girl.”
Printing of the calendar is underway and is about to be on sale next week at Miracle in Progress in Hall Croft, Shepshed, a small town in the heart of England.
Jo Proud, a midwife and clinic director who led the project, said she hopes to sell more than 250 calendars in and hit their £5,000 target. She said Miracle in Progress may never have been printed after Millie’s death, if not for the baby’s mother insistence to proceed as planned.
There are three charities expected to benefit from the calendar: Remember My Baby Charity, Kicks Count and Sands.
Inspired by Call the Midwife, modern-day midwives pose in 1950s uniforms for the annual calendar, which aims to raise money for different charities.
“We started doing the photography in March and Millie was in a couple of the pictures with other babies,” Jo said. “When Millie passed away we didn’t want to continue with the calendar but her mum said we must carry on. She wanted us to raise awareness about sudden infant death syndrome and as much money as possible.”
The calendar, which was shot in March, features pictures of Millie with other infants. Her mother Chloe says she hopes her daughter’s smile brings joy to others.
Having raised thousands for awareness about Downs Syndrome last year, Miracle in Progress hopes to hit a similar sum for baby charities this year.
“Our calendar last year sold hundreds of copies and raised thousands of pounds for Downs Syndrome awareness, so our target this year is £5,000. I think lots of expecting mothers love the show, too, and that’s what gave us the idea for the calendar,” said Jo.
A midwife for 15 years, says the calendar was themed after the hit BBC drama because those in her profession appreciated its authenticity.
In an attempt to raise funds for needy causes, the calendar recreates the world of Call The Midwife, which is set in the 1950s.
Money raised from the calendar – which costs £19.99 – will go to support the Remember My Baby Charity, Kicks Count and Sands charities.