Loss sparks fundraising journey

FUNDRAISER: These candles will be available for purchase from Burnt Soy Candles, with every $5 raised going to SIDS and Kids SA.
FUNDRAISER: These candles will be available for purchase from Burnt Soy Candles, with every $5 raised going to SIDS and Kids SA.

The loss of her son to Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) sparked a 40 year fundraising journey for Whyalla local Judy Hoffman, with the total raised now reaching over $500,000.

Judy's son Aaron died at 11 weeks as a result of SIDS, and since then she has dedicated herself to raising awareness about the syndrome.

In honour of what would have been Aaron's 40th birthday, Burnt Soy Candles (run by Aaron's cousin Laura McLean) are selling two limited edition candles with $5 from each candle sold going directly to SIDS and Kids SA.

Ms McLean said Aaron's candle was fragranced with Angel Wings as a remembrance for a little boy taken too soon.

"Our 'Thank you for supporting SIDS and Kids SA' candle has been fragranced with the aromas of black raspberry and vanilla as a remembrance to all children and their families affected by SIDS," she said.

The business hopes to raise $5000 for SIDS and Kids SA, which is a non-for-profit organistion that supports individuals and families who have lost a child to SIDS.

After Aaron's death Judy established a SIDS and Kids auxiliary in Whyalla and became a peer support worker providing parent to parent support for families and liaising with health professionals and emergency response people in the local area.

She was also the local promoter of safe infant sleeping practices that were learnt from the research she helped to fund. The education program has saved the lives of over 1500 babies in South Australia.

Judy thanked Laura for paying tribute to the cousin she never knew, whose death 'demolished' her.

"Grief never goes away, you just learn to accommodate it," she said.

"We're providing much-needed financial support for SIDS and Kids SA, which provides safe sleep education and free bereavement counselling to South Australian families."

Former SIDS for Kids CEO Maxine Weber thanked Judy for her commitment to supporting the organisation over the years.

"Judy can feel justly proud of the huge contribution she has made in saving babies lives over the last 40 years and it is a fitting tribute to her son Aaron who shared her life for just 11 short weeks," she said.

The memorial candles are available for $25 each with a 45+ hour burn time.

To place your order you can email burnt@internode.on.net or visit www.burntsoycandles.com.au.