Supporters Give Back by Walking for Valour
For Immediate Release
August 26, 2016
Baby Beck is Blessed
EDMONTON, AB. On May 13, 2016, at 24 weeks pregnant, Ashley Beck was driving five hours from Yellowknife to her home near Hay River, NWT. Her children, two-year-old Daxton and 15-year-old Devon were with her when she started spotting. “The cell reception was almost non-existent but somehow I was able to reach my midwife by phone.” Ashley recalled. Later that evening doctors at the Hay River Hospital confirmed she’d started pre-term labour. She and husband RCMP Special Constable Steven Beck had to make a choice – stay and deliver in Hay River in a hospital not equipped to deal with a 24 week pre-term baby, or medivac to Edmonton. The choice was clear for the Becks so they departed Hay River on the evening of May 14.
Ashley flew out on the medivac alone since the flight couldn’t take them both. “We knew the baby could come any time.”
“We spent 10 days in the Royal Alex hospital and the staff kept telling us ‘if he survives, you’ll be here until his due date August 31.’ All we could think was how do we do this? How do we have one parent at the hospital with the baby and one with the toddler? What do we do with a two-year-old in a hotel room in Edmonton for three months? Where do we stay?”
After sleeping in his van in the hospital parking lot the first night, one of Steve’s colleagues told him about Valour Place.
Ashley was placed on bed rest at the Royal Alex so eldest step-daughter Chantal arrived and went with Steve to get checked in to Valour Place. Ashley wasn’t able to see the accommodations at Valour Place and was worried about toddler Daxton’s safety and comfort. Chantal took pictures and showed Ashley what the house looked like. “The picture that got me was when she showed me picture of the play room. That’s when I thought, we’re going to be ok. We can get through this. “
Blayne Alexander Beck was born at 25 weeks and 5 days weighing 1 lb 12 oz. Thanks to Valour Place’s location close to the hospital, Steve and Ashley were able to rotate 6 hour shifts with one parent at Valour Place with the toddler and one at the hospital. This allowed Blayne to receive up to 6 hours a day of Kangaroo care (skin to skin holding) which doctors credit with some of the baby’s continued health. He was discharged at what would have been 37 weeks, 2 weeks before his due date, and the family has been able to return home to Hay River.
Walking for Tomorrow’s Guests
Valour Place opened in 2012 to give military members, veterans, and RCMP a place to stay while undergoing medical treatment. As the first of its kind in Canada, Edmonton was the right fit not only because of the large population of military personnel but because of its world class health care in rehabilitation, brain injury, spinal cord injury, and amputations.
Since opening Valour Place has been at or near capacity. An endowment fund was established from the start to ensure that Valour Place will never be a burden on the community to continue operations. All money raised from the Walk for Valour will go towards making sure Valour Place can continue to operate for future guests.
“We call it hope away from home.” Says Dennis Erker, chairperson of Valour Place’s board of directors. “At Valour Place you have people with similar situations hurting too. So the home is designed to encourage interaction between our guests. Everyone has a reason for staying there.”
Organizers are in need of registrations to help support the walk. Anyone can register to participate in the 3 mile or 5 mile walk for $35. Incentives are available for fundraising teams. A pancake breakfast and BBQ lunch are included with each registration. T-shirts are available to those who register on a first come first served basis.
The Beck Family and Dennis Erker among others will be on hand to speak to media about their experiences and to relay the importance of supporting Valour Place.
Date: Sunday, September 11, 2016
Time: Registration & Pancake breakfast at 8:00 AM 3 mile and 5 mile walks start at 10:00 AM BBQ Lunch and Family Activities at Valour Place at 12:00 noon
Where: Walk begins: RCMP K Division 11140 109 St, Edmonton, AB Walk ends: Valour Place 11109 111 Avenue, Edmonton, AB Free Parking Available at K Division
Media Contact: Erin Rayner 780-886-8386 cell firstname.lastname@example.org
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