Inspirational mother from Sutton is new face of charity campaign that will see her son’s legacy live on
It was the unimaginable tragedy of losing her 14-month-old son Jacob that led Claire Wright to put her heart and soul into fundraising for charity.
The inspirational 45-year-old from Sutton, near Ely, lost her baby boy in April 2012.
He had been diagnosed with mitochondrial disease two months prior, and Claire and husband Bob were told there was no treatment or cure.
After dying and until his funeral, Jacob stayed at East Anglia's Children's Hospices (EACH) hospice in Milton, just north of Cambridge.
EACH helped the family come to terms with the devastating loss which has now seen Claire become the face of their new charity campaign on the seventh anniversary of Jacob's death.
“No one talks about children dying – it is the unimaginable,” Claire said.
“You don't ever think it will happen to you.
“I would watch fundraising programmes and think how tragic it must be to lose a child and then in the blink of an eye I was that person.
“My whole world completely fell apart and I felt isolated and had questions that I didn't want to say out loud.
“But then EACH said to me 'don't worry we will be there'.
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Claire is now the face of EACH's 'Dress Claire' campaign, which sees 37 lifesize cut-outs of her dotted around their stores across East Anglia.
Today (April 26) she visited the Ely High Street branch to launch the initiative.
“It sounded like it was a really different idea and I am always willing to do whatever I can to help EACH's work,” Claire explained.
“It was very surreal to see 40 lifesize cut-outs of me – it was weird and overwhelming but a very lovely idea.
“It makes me feel proud of Jacob.”
Claire continued: “Jacob had more days to spend with us thanks to EACH – they gave us all so much support and allowed me to find my new normal and to smile through the tears.
“Without their support I would not be here today.
“They change lives and cannot do what they do without donations.
“Jacob's legacy is kept alive thanks to EACH.”
The charity needs more than 6,000 bags of donations a week to keep them stocked.
Gilly Platell , shop manager at EACH in Ely, said: “Claire has been very brave to do something like this and her work is always appreciated at EACH as it makes a huge difference.”
For more information about EACH and to find out where your nearest shop is, visit www.each.org.uk.