Monday, February 24, 2014


From the moment my daughter passed away I made the decision to break the silence, speak about my daughter and share my experience with others in the hope that they wouldn't feel alone.

Grief is such a lonely road. Unless someone has experienced the depth of losing a child they could never possibly understand and even then, everyone’s experience is different and personal to each individual and family.

Today I continue to break the silence, speak my daughter Yasminah’s name and share my personal experiences. I will not be silenced.  I will not let another person’s actions define my future. 

I planned to return from my leave of absence as President of Yasminah's Gift Of Hope but my position became untenable. Last week I have formally advised the NSW Office Of Fair Trading that I have not been involved in any operational capacity for Yasminah's Gift Of Hope since the 23rd November 2013. As of Friday 21st February 2014 I'm no longer the Public Officer. After seeking legal and regulatory advice from this moment forward I will have no further affiliation with Yasminah's Gift Of Hope.

During my absence I have continued to personally offer support to families and was honoured to help deliver two important resources with some very special people for care givers and families to utilise at Royal Prince Alfred Hospital NICU and Westmead Public Hospital NICU.

Lynette Grech and myself delivering the first CuddleTIME Cold Cot to Royal Prince Alfred Hospital NICU Bereavement Room in loving memory of Lynette's son Bodhi Grech. 
Both pregnant with our rainbow babies due a few weeks apart.
Lynette and myself would like to express our deepest gratitude and support to the individuals, families and companies that supported this special gift of time to bereaved families. 
Twin Crib donated in honour of Aisha and Aaliyah Aziz and Isabella and Olivia Ribera 

Little cuties Axel and Ryley Maloney seen her trialing the new cot for the first time!

The beautiful letter I personally received from Westmead Neonatal Intensive Care Unit after my family, along with Nicole and her family delivered the first twin crib the unit has in late November 2013. Together Nicole and I collectively raised $2500 to purchase the Twin Crib in honour of our own twin daughters Aisha and Aaliyah and Isabella and Olivia who were all born prematurely and spent time at Westmead NICU.  

During my involvement over the past 4 years with Yasminah's Gift Of Hope I have been honoured and humbled to receive generous acknowledgements for the support the organisation and it's outstanding volunteers provided including 

  • CHILD of the Year Award for Raising Limb Deficiency Awareness
  • Bernardos Mother of The Year Nomination 2011
  • Australian of the Year Nomination 2011
  • Campbelltown City Council International Women's Day Certificate of Appreciation 2012
  • First Runner Up Lil' Aussie Prems Foundation Premmie Hero Award 2013

I'm so very grateful to have been afforded the opportunity to share my own personal story several times and help raise awareness alongside the dedicated volunteers via the media including

I have also been actively involved with the National Premmie Foundation since May 2011. In that time I have progressed from a general committee member to my current role as the Vice President. During my tenure I have 

  • Represented the National Premmie Foundation and each of the member groups including Yasminah's Gift Of Hope at it's first NSW Baby and Children's Expo
  • Organised Questacon as the first building to light up purple as part of World Prematurity Day for 2012 and subsequent years
  • Established several connections within the media for the National Premmie Foundation and the member groups including radio interviews with SWR FM and publications in Cosmopolitan Pregnancy 

My passion and dedication to raising awareness and providing support to families who have experienced the premature birth or loss of their child has been unwavering. 

I'm extremely proud of the accomplishments of each and every volunteer past and present and the difference that they have made to the lives of many. It has always been a team effort. It's been an absolute honour to work alongside so many passionate members of the community all with the common goal to offer support and make a difference no matter how small. Majority of the volunteers have personally experienced or been touched by pregnancy loss or premature birth. We are all in different places, emotions, seasons, grieving processes, but our hearts were always united to help make this time a little easier for those who are newly bereaved or experiencing the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit or Special Care Nursery. 

Just like the wings of a butterfly cause a ripple in the world, your love, support and commitment has not gone unnoticed and will always, always be remembered. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for dedicating your time, sharing your love and sharing your own personal experiences. 

These are the moments I will remember with love in my heart and tears in my eyes as I end this chapter and embark on a new journey of grief....

Yasminah's 2nd Birthday we held a butterfly release to meet the families we had supported in our first 9 months and send our love to heaven... 

Yasminah's 2nd Birthday Butterfly Release 

The first journals I had personally designed and we provided to bereaved and premmie families featured in the Mother's Day Tribute video

The amazing Annual Scrap For Yaz events held over the past 4 years, including the support from SIDS and Kids QLD. 

Delivering gifts to sick and premature infants in memory of my beautiful friend Erin Carmody's ( Former Vice President ) little boy Aiden for the Annual NICU Christmas Appeal 

My personal highlight would be the Yasminah's Gift Of Hope Butterfly Garden Ball. It was a beautiful, emotional evening where we honoured and remembered many of the babies we have lost and the babies born too soon. 


My sincere gratitude and love must also go out to our two incredible ambassadors Haley Bracken and Oscar Chavez. Their personal support, and willingness to open their hearts sharing their own journey's in an effort to help other families is to be commended. 

None of the past 4 years would of ever have been possible without the love, support and encouragement of so many special people. I will always remember your contributions, the letters, the cards, the gifts you lovingly sent me on Yasminah's birthday and your loyal friendship and support. I feel eternally blessed to have shared so many beautiful moments and memories with some truly special people. It's been an honour helping in a small way to make sure that our babies are acknowledged, remembered and loved for a lifetime. 

To my little girl Yasminah, my love for you will always remain, forever and always my baby girl you will be. 

Sending hope, light, love and happiness

Bec x

Sunday, February 9, 2014

CuddleTIME Cold Cot

Each day 6 babies across Australia are stillborn. A total of 2000 babies each year.

Most deceased babies, have to be taken to the mortuary within several hours of birth, cutting short the precious time that a bereaved family have together to create memories.

Bodhi Grech was born on the 12th of August and passed away on the 16th of August 2012 Leaving his family heartbroken and shattered. In memory of Bodhi, his mother Lynette Grech with the support of her family and friends began 'For Bodhi' with the aim to give back to the bereavement community in his memory. Over the past year Lynette has fundraised tirelessly in memory of Bodhi for the first CuddleTIME Cold Cot to be donated on behalf of Yasminah's Gift Of Hope in his memory to the hospital where he spent his final days of life. 

Yasminah's Gift Of Hope offers early support to those suffering the loss of a baby during pregnancy or shortly after birth. Yasminah's Gift Of Hope works to prevent potential incidences of depression as a result of the trauma families experience.

The CuddleTIME Cold Cot Project will significantly aid Yasminah's Gift Of Hope support role by allowing us to provide the treasured gift of 'time' to bereaving parents and their families. 

Donated by Yasminah's Gift Of Hope in Memory of Bodhi Grech 12.8.12 - 16.8.12

The CuddleTIME Cold Cots will compliment Yasminah's Gift Of Hope, Gift Of Hope journal support program by extending a families time together to create lasting memories that can be recorded in the journals and kept for a lifetime.

Portable Cold Cots will support caregivers and bereaved families cared for at Royal Prince Alfred Hospital Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. 

  • Families will have the opportunity and choice to spend quality time together as a family, whilst creating memories to last a lifetime before saying their final goodbye.
  • CuddleTIME Cold Cot will foster greater support for parents by allowing increased involvement of extended family in the grieving process
  • Will enable families the choice to take their child home overnight utilising the portable Cold Cot with the support of the hospital
  • Creating memories of the deceased child, including interactions such as cuddles, bathing and dressing, have been shown to be very beneficial for a parent's journey through grief

Today two incredible things happened.

I met a beautiful lady I've gotten to know over the past 18 months. Lynette Grech. She was warm, compassionate and we hugged like we'd been friends for years. Time was no barrier. We had both been through something indescribable. The loss of our child. Lynette heartbreakingly said goodbye to her son Bodhi Grech 3 days after saying hello.

Together we delivered the CuddleTIME Cold Cot in memory of her son Bodhi. 

Lynette Grech and myself delivered the CuddleTIME Cold Cot to Royal Prince Alfred Hospital NICU Bereavement Room in loving memory of Lynette's son Bodhi. We are both currently pregnant with our rainbow babies due a few weeks apart.

Love is endless and Bodhi's memory will live on helping many other families spend precious final moments with their child. A love to last a lifetime. Thank you to everyone who supported, donated and helped make the first CuddleTIME Cold Cot possible. 

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Let it be

There are some days when I don't know where to begin.

Today is one of those days.

My words may come out all jumbled....a mess.....and probably won't make sense. But it's something I need to write. I need to clear this from my head.

Sometimes holding on feels like the 'right' thing to do. It shows that I have the strength, courage and determination to see things through. But. There is always a 'but' isn't there? Then there are moments. Other moments. Moments like now. When I just feel like I don't have the strength to push through this anymore. That maybe.....just maybe I should let go. And really let go. Let it all go. Let go of all the pain. Let go of the people who keep hurting me. Let go of the negativity. Let go of the drama. Let go of the things that make me sad. Let go of the people who do so little for me control my mind, feelings and emotions . Let go of what is holding me back. Will it hurt to let go? Of course it will hurt to let it go. Letting go is hard! But it could possibly hurt me more holding on. Holding on is harder.

Will I ever be free?

I want to be free.

I want joy.

I want peace.

I want understanding.

I keep hearing the song 'Let it be' by the Beatles. A coincidence or a sign?

I wish that there was someone, anyone who could tell me the correct path to walk down. However I'm really the only one who can answer that question. I have to see the light and make the decision.

A very close and dear friend posted this tonight on her facebook page.

A Community Announcement.: STOP. Remind yourself of who was always there to share your tears, success, laughter, embarrassment and fear, and who'll continue to be there until your days here are done. That 'who' is you. Stop and give yourself a break - you've been through so much with 'You', so cut 'you' some slack - you are your best friend. And if you haven't been told lately, I (and many others) think you're bloody amazing. G'night.

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Leave of Absence

This is a special announcement and not one that I ever thought I would be making. I write this with mixed feelings and have shed quite a few tears as it is with regret to inform you all of my decision to take 12 months personal leave of absence from my position on the Board of Yasminah’s Gift Of Hope as President, with immediate effect. It has been a very difficult decision to make but after much consideration and the support of my family, I believe it is for the best interests of Yasminah’s Gift Of Hope, myself and my family. I anticipate returning to the position of President 1st December 2014.

I wish to clarify the reasons for my sudden decision to step back from the Board. There are many but I feel that my immediate and continued contribution over the next 12 months to the Board is extremely limited. I have poured my heart and soul into creating Yasminah’s Gift of Hope in memory of the stillbirth of my beautiful daughter Yasminah and in honour of our twin daughters Aisha and Aaliyah’s premature birth. I wanted to help other parents and families know that they weren't alone on this journey and that there was support and understanding available from someone who has experienced it. The creation of 'Yasminah's Gift Of Hope' being firstly the hand designed journals, then the Premmie Gift Of Hope journal, was one that was designed to not only give parents hope, but also an outlet to heal and a special keepsake and place to record their journey. I started YGOH when Aisha and Aaliyah were only a few months old and I’ve never really allowed myself time to grieve privately and fully acknowledge my own journey. YGOH has been an immense and important part of my healing and growth, but in many ways also shifted my focus and grief. I believe it was in a positive way and one that at the time felt right, helping others who have experienced the same or similar journeys of bereavement and premature birth. I also feel that I have missed out on so much of my little girls first precious years and I don’t wish for that to happen with our precious little rainbow baby we are expecting next year. Family must always come first. At this point in time it is important for me to focus on my physical and mental health, my pregnancy, the impending arrival of my rainbow baby and my beautiful, precious family.

I have formed some very special friendships with you all over the past 4 years and together we have shared a lot of highs and lows. I greatly appreciate and thank you all for your love, kindness and support during what has been a very difficult time in my life. I truly value your friendships and the memories I have made will always be held close to my heart. I will never forget you and what you have each contributed to YGOH. One thing we have always prided ourselves upon is our connection to the community and working together with like-minded organisations and people - thank you for believing in YGOH, your support and contributions. I wish to especially thank my dear friends who have donated their time, skills and professional services via their businesses to supporting YGOH over the years. You have helped us grow from my humble dining room table 4 years ago to supporting thousands of families across Australia. YGOH was born from the loss of my little girl Yasminah Ann who has touched the hearts and lives of many and from the kindness and support of our family and friends and complete strangers whose support has been unwavering!

I will greatly miss the daily interaction with the volunteers and being involved in the future direction of the organisation during the next 12 months. This is the right decision for me at this moment and for my future. I will be back so this isn’t really goodbye just - see you soon!

Please continue in your amazing efforts of raising awareness, funds and supporting YGOH via contributing to journal designing, knitting and sewing. Please keep contributing to our Facebook support groups in order for us to continue the vital support we provide to premmie and bereaved families across Australia.

I do hope that you will all keep in touch. I hold many of you and your babies close to my heart and I will be forever grateful for the beautiful friendships I have made along the way. Thank you for sharing your own journeys and opening your hearts to mine. I look forward to sharing the exciting new journey that lies ahead and the arrival of our rainbow baby next year. My phone number remains the same 0409977999 but I can no longer be reached at Please refer any YGOH related emails to

Thanking you all from the bottom of my heart. Sending you all Hope, Light, Love and Happiness

Bec xx

Saturday, September 28, 2013

A Book About Death Australia

A Book About Death EXHIBITION

Tweed River Art Gallery, New South Wales, Australia.

18 October - 24 November, 2013

This international exhibition originally conceived by Paris artist Matthew Rose was first exhibited in the Emily Harvey Gallery, New York in September 2009.

The exhibition became a world wide phenomena, involving work from over 500 artists and inspiring artists to curate off shoot exhibitions throughout North America, South America, Europe and Britain.

Now 300 artists from more than 20 countries have submitted new artworks for the Australian exhibition at Tweed River Art Gallery in October 2013.

The gallery has magnificent views over the Tweed River and surrounding mountain ranges.
Multiple stacks of artists' postcards will be on the window alcove seats for gallery visitors to take home and create their own 'unbound' book about death.

Back in February I came across the 'A Book About Death Exhibition. I was inspired and in awe of the artists sharing their gift, expressing what death means to them. Their personal, creative expression of grief. loss and heartache. I knew immediately that it was something I needed to be involved in. This had landed on my screen for a reason. This was my opportunity to express via visual art my grief. My book about death. 

I'm thrilled,excited and slightly daunted that I've just submitted my very first official exhibition piece for the 'A Book About Death Australia' Exhibition, to be held at the Tweed River Art Gallery opening the 18th of October. Below is my submission. 

What does death mean to you?

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Roots and Wings

I came across the following note that a friend had posted to her page. I don't know who the original author of it is, but it sums up perfectly the way we should parent our children.

As a mother to three young children, I'm mindful that they won't always be little. That the first few years of their lives, they develop the imagination and skills to tackle the big bright world ahead of them. They need the warmth of love, support and encouragement not processions or trophy's.

Give them the chance to explore, create and learn by getting dirty in the mud, drawing on themselves with markers and reading books to excite their imagination. Let them be kids and develop a sense of wonder! Every child is unique and will learn and develop at their own pace.

My eldest Zachariah is 6 years old and was diagnosed as having high functioning autism or aspergers when he was 4. We have always encouraged him to be who he is and have marvelled at the way he views the world around him. I also have two adorable 3 year old twin girls Aisha and Aaliyah, who we call our twincesses! They were born 9 weeks premature and people often suggested that they weren't reaching their 'milestones' when they should have been. Time is a beautiful thing and over time they reached all those 'milestones' at their own pace. Although they are twins, they couldn't be more individual and are growing into strong, confident, happy, caring little girls.

I could add so much more to this note below, but the pre-school teacher sums it up pretty well! Give your children roots and wings. Let them learn how to fly.

Written by a Pre-School Teacher

I was on a parenting bulletin board recently and read a post by a mother who was worried that her 4 1/2 year old did not know enough. “What should a 4 year old know?” she asked. Most of the answers left me not only saddened but pretty soundly annoyed.

One mum posted a laundry list of all of the things her son knew. Counting to 100, planets, how to write his first and last name, and on and on. Others chimed in with how much more their children already knew, some who were only three. A few posted URL’s to lists of what each age should know. The fewest yet said that each child develops at his own pace and not to worry.

It bothered me greatly to see these mothers responding to a worried mum by adding to her concern, with lists of all the things their children could do that hers couldn’t. We are such a competitive culture that even our pre-schoolers have become trophies and bragging rights. Childhood shouldn’t be a race.

So here, I offer my list of what a 4 year old should know.

She should know that she is loved wholly and unconditionally, all of the time.

He should know that he is safe and he should know how to keep himself safe in public, with others, and in varied situations. He should know that he can trust his instincts about people and that he never has to do something that doesn’t feel right, no matter who is asking. He should know his personal rights and that his family will back them up.

She should know how to laugh, act silly, be goofy and use her imagination. She should know that it is always okay to paint the sky orange and give cats 6 legs.

He should know his own interests and be encouraged to follow them. If he could care less about learning his numbers, his parents should realize he’ll learn them accidentally soon enough and let him immerse himself instead in rocket ships, drawing, dinosaurs or playing in the mud.

She should know that the world is magical and that so is she. She should know that she’s wonderful, brilliant, creative, compassionate and marvellous. She should know that it’s just as worthy to spend the day outside making daisy chains, mud pies and fairy houses as it is to practice phonics. Scratch that– way more worthy.

But more important, here’s what parents need to know.

That every child learns to walk, talk, read and do algebra at his own pace and that it will have no bearing on how well he walks, talks, reads or does algebra.

That the single biggest predictor of high academic achievement and high NAPLAN scores is reading to children. Not flash cards, not workbooks, not fancy preschools, not blinking toys or computers, but mum or dad taking the time every day or night (or both!) to sit and read them wonderful books.

That being the smartest or most accomplished kid in class has never had any bearing on being the happiest. We are so caught up in trying to give our children “advantages” that we’re giving them lives as multi-tasked and stressful as ours. One of the biggest advantages we can give our children is a simple, carefree childhood.

That our children deserve to be surrounded by books, nature, art supplies and the freedom to explore them. Most of us could get rid of 90% of our children’s toys and they wouldn’t be missed, but some things are important– building toys like Lego and blocks, creative toys like all types of art materials (good stuff), musical instruments (real ones and multicultural ones), dress up clothes and books, books, books. (Incidentally, much of this can be picked up quite cheaply at thrift shops.) They need to have the freedom to explore with these things too– to play with scoops of dried beans in the high chair (supervised, of course), to knead bread and make messes, to use paint and play dough and glitter at the kitchen table while we make supper even though it gets everywhere, to have a spot in the yard where it’s absolutely fine to dig up all the grass and make a mud pit.

That our children need more of us. We have become so good at saying that we need to take care of ourselves that some of us have used it as an excuse to have the rest of the world take care of our kids. Yes, we all need undisturbed baths, time with friends, sanity breaks and an occasional life outside of parenthood. But we live in a time when parenting magazines recommend trying to commit to 10 minutes a day with each child and scheduling one Saturday a month as family day. That’s not okay!

Our children don’t need Nintendo's, computers, after school activities, ballet lessons, play groups and soccer practice nearly as much as they need US. They need fathers who sit and listen to their days, mothers who join in and make crafts with them, parents who take the time to read them stories and act like idiots with them. They need us to take walks with them and not mind the .1 KPH pace of a toddler on a spring night. They deserve to help us make supper even though it takes twice as long and makes it twice as much work. They deserve to know that they’re a priority for us and that we truly love to be with them.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013


I found this many moons ago on a blog written in response of things not to say to a twin parent. It is spot on and made me laugh, and I thought it was worthy of sharing. The original post no longer seems to exist so I'm not sure who to credit this to. 

  1. Strength: Our constant lifting of heavy babies gives us superior muscle tone.
  2. Endurance: We can endure sleep deprivation comparable to special-forces in training.
  3. Speed: We can fly in and out of a baby’s bedroom at 2am like a flipping ninja. (You would too if you risked waking another screaming baby).
  4. Sense: Our sense of smell is heightened to that of a top police tracker dog, being able not only to spot a dirty nappy, but locating it to within 6 inches from the other side of the room.
  5. Humour: We laugh in the face of danger. (Mainly because we accept we can only tackle one danger at a time so the other one may as well be funny!).
  6. Hustling: We have more grey hair than you would expect for our age, which is disarming and helps us hustle.
  7. Gift of the Gab: We should all have PhD’s in Diplomacy and Negotiation (e.g. you get to pull the plug out tomorrow, the second hand shoes are magic, three divided by two is one each and one for me, etc)
  8. Emotional Resilience: We can do all of the above while simultaneously crying without even smudging our mascara. (We have no time for makeup).
  9. Lords of the Dance: We always have enough people for the hokey pokey.
  10. Brute Force: Our prams are bigger than your prams. Move over, we’re coming through whether it suits you or not!
What are your qualifications/special skills?

Monday, August 19, 2013

About Me Monday 20 Questions

1. Do you have a middle name? Yes - Ann which I have passed down to my daughters who also have the middle name of Ann

2. What was your favourite subject in school? Visual Art. I studied 3 Unit art and pursued an Bachelor of Visual Arts degree at University after finishing High School.

3. What’s your favourite drink? I'm loving Nescafe Green Blend Cappuccino

4. Favourite song at the moment? 'We come running' by Youngblood Hawke. I recently got to see them perform this song live at the P!nk Sydney Concert

5. Do you participate in any sports? Nope....  I'm not very athletic however my husband manages our family business, his Karate Dojo in Western Sydney - Western Sydney Kyokoshin Karate

6. Favourite Colour? Do I have to pick one? I'd probably say blue, but I love bright colours like
yellow and greens and the subdued browns.

7. Favourite Animals? Tigers and Panda's

8. Favourite holiday? We haven't been on many holidays together as a family, but I would have to say our first ever family holiday to Diamond Beach on the Central Coast of NSW was perfect! I got to walk along the beach everyday and soak in the sun with my little ones. It was my twincesses first time at the beach. One other really special thing my son and I did was write Yasminah and other angels names in the sand.

9. Have you been out of the Country? I have never travelled overseas, but really hope to one day!

10. Do you speak any other Languages? I have some very basic Arabic knowledge but that's it

11. Do you have any siblings? I have a younger sister Sandy-Lee and brother David.

12. What’s your favourite store? Sportsgirl

13. Favourite Restaurant? Sahara at Parramatta

14. Did you like school? Yes I did, but I was a bit of a nerd

15. Favourite Movie? Sleepless in Seattle

16. Favourite TV show? Grey's Anatomy

17. What phone do you have? iPhone 4

18. How tall are you? 175cm

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Oscar Chavez honours his premature baby girl Arianna

Oscar Chavez is the lead singer of Australian Band Suns of Cascadia. Oscar Chavez shot to fame after gaining a spot on Team Delta on The Voice Australia Season 2 from over 10,000 applicants. Oscar’s Blind audition has received over 250,000 views on YouTube.

President and Founder of Yasminah’s Gift Of Hope Rebecca Aziz said ‘We first learnt about Oscar and the premature birth of his daughter as a contestant on The Voice’.

“As soon as I heard about ‘Yasminah’s Gift Of Hope’, I just knew I had to be involved.” “I wish that I knew about ‘Yasminah’s Gift Of Hope’ while going through what we went through.”  “This is a topic that is very close to my heart and I want to do all that I can to help” said Oscar Chavez.

Rebecca Aziz is the mother of Yasminah who was stillborn and of identical twins who were born 9 weeks prematurely.  Her experiences made her realise how important it is to have something by which to remember each child and their special birth journey.  The tragedy is that some families have nothing: no photos, no record, nothing to hold.

Premature birth is the number one killer of newborns.

Over one million little angels around the world each year never come home.

Over 45,000 babies are admitted into neonatal intensive and special care units every year in Australia. This is over 14.5% of all babies born and translates to over 115 admissions every day.

In 2009 there were 78 babies who died from SIDS and 2341 babies were stillborn.  *Australian Bureau Of Statistics AIHW National Perinatal Statistics Report

There are roughly 10 times more stillborn babies than babies who die of SIDS each year, yet this statistic hasn't changed for years. That's roughly 2000 babies a year or six a day in Australia. We all fear SIDS, yet stillbirth, which is far more common, is rarely talked about. *Yasminah’s Gift Of Hope

‘Yasminah’s Gift of Hope’ is a non-profit organisation that has provided over 8000 Australian families with a ‘Gift Of Hope’ support package since 2010. The G.O.H. Journals are special keepsakes that display ultrasound images, photos, cot cards, arm bands, and foot and hand prints as cherished mementos. The journals also allow parents to express their thoughts in a therapeutic and healing way.

Oscar Chavez said his decision to become an Ambassador for Yasminah’s Gift Of Hope was after his own personal experience of premature birth with his daughter Arianna.

“I have decided to become an Ambassador for ‘Yasminah’s Gift Of Hope’ for the simple reason of having experienced the hardship of premature birth with my Daughter Arianna. She was born at 31 weeks and weighed 1.1 Kilograms. I've seen the strength that these babies need to survive and I've seen the incredible nursing staff and equipment required to ensure these babies have the best chance of survival. Our daughter is one of the children that survived premature birth and she is the happiest baby I have ever met. She is a miracle to this world and means everything to me. I wish for other parents with premature children to have the same chance to hold their happy, healthy children every day.”

As Ambassador, Oscar Chavez will promote awareness of the high rate of premature birth and stillbirths in this country and the ongoing support and understanding available from Yasminah's Gift of Hope.

“We’re delighted to have Oscar as an Ambassador and grateful for his passion for the cause.  Oscar plans to write a song for Yasminah’s Gift Of Hope to help raise awareness. Oscar’s personally experienced premature birth and knows the struggle that parents go through at that time. He offers a unique prospective as a father of a premature infant. So often the focus is on the mother and with his help we can let dads know that there is support available for them too. ” said Rebecca Aziz

Oscar and his wife are currently expecting their second child, due later this year.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Collaborate For A Cause

Members of Australia’s handmade community will be hoping to raise more than $50,000 for a variety of charities including Yasminah's Gift Of Hope through Collaborate for a Cause – a massive online charity auction being held late July.

The event – which will take place via Facebook from July 26-28 – involves more than 340 small handmade businesses and hobby enterprises.

We are honoured and thrilled to have over 25 handmade businesses participating in over 15 collaborations. Together, they are hoping their collaborations raise over $2500 for Yasminah's Gift Of Hope.

The inaugural event in 2011 – which included 200+ businesses – raised $18,000.  Last year this was doubled to a massive $40,000 shared amongst 105 charities. This year, organiser Jen Kennedy from Ainslee Fox Handmade believes the donation tally could reach $50,000.

“We’ve had such an overwhelming response from the creative community on Facebook. We’ve got collaborations of two, three, four and even more businesses who have all worked together to create some amazing, beautiful handmade items. "

“Australia is fortunate to have a thriving community of talented craftspeople – many are stay-at-home mums – and this event is being held in the name of fun, friendship and giving.”

Members of the public will be able to bid on the auction via the Collaborate for a Cause Facebook page simply by commenting under a photograph of their favourite item. Payments will be taken by direct bank deposit or PayPal.

Full details about the auction and photographs/descriptions of the items being auctioned are available at

Friday, June 7, 2013

Saying Goodbye........

Memories of your pregnancy, birth and time with your child are precious. Before saying good bye you may want to:

  • Take photos
  • Bathe your child
  • Wash them in a special scented soap
  • Put a nappy on them and dress them
  • Take your child outside
  • Have family and friends visit
  • Take hand and foot prints, hand and feet castings
  • Collect a lock of hair
  • Place items of clothing, blankets/wraps that your child wore in a snap lock bag to retain their smell

You can keep hospital bracelets, name cards and other hospital items used for your child and place them within your journal. Just ask the hospital staff to keep them aside for you.

It might help you to create a scrapbook of your memories including items from your pregnancy like pregnancy tests, ultrasound pictures, belly photos and other keepsakes from your pregnancy and birth.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Return To Zero

Return To Zero written by Sean Hanish is a movie about a successful couple played by Minnie Driver and Paul Adelstein (Private Practice) who lose their child on the day he's supposed to be born. They must overcome their grief to save their relationship and start a family together. It is the FIRST film of it's kind that directly focuses on the grief of losing a child to stillbirth and what that experience is like for so many families.
Each day in Australia 6 babies are still born. Each day! My daughter Yasminah was one of those 6 babies stillborn on the 26th March 2009.

This film needs to be seen and we need your help to prove to Hollywood that they NEED to bring this to theatres worldwide!

As a Local Leader for Sydney, NSW Australia I need your PLEDGE to come and see this movie on opening night with me in Australia!

In the next 30 DAYS our goal is to have 150,000 people pledge to see RETURN TO ZERO opening weekend!

If each LOCAL LEADER can get 100 people to Pledge, then we will easily surpass that goal and be one giant step closer to getting the film released around the globe!

Let's get started right away--below is the RETURN TO ZERO PLEDGE FORM! List me Rebecca Aziz as your local leader!

In English

In Spanish

There's still time to become a Local Leader in your community! Sign up here!

And if you haven't had a chance to view the First Glimpse of RETURN TO ZERO check out this video!

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

This is your song

There is an African tribe, where it is believed that the moment a woman thinks about having a child, her child is born. This becomes the child's birth date. When the woman decides that she will have a child, she goes and sits alone beside a tree. She carefully listens for the 'song' of the child that wants to come. After she has heard the song of this child, she goes back to the man that will be the child's father and she teaches him, his child's song. When they make physical love to conceive their child, some of that time they sing the song of the child, to bring it to life.

When the woman is pregnant, she teaches her child's song to the midwives and the old women of the village. When the child is born the midwives and old women of the village welcome the child into the world singing the child's song. As the child grows, the rest of the village are taught the child's song. The belief is if the child is injured or hurt, the other villagers sing the child's song to comfort them. The child's song is also sung during important milestones as a way of honouring their achievements.

If I had to choose my song, it would have to be 'I was here' by Beyoncé.

We may not all be able to sing like Beyoncé, or have grown up in an African tribe that sings your song to you at crucial life transitions, but life is always reminding you when you are in tune with yourself and when you are not.

When my husband and I first started dating, there was one song that just expressed how we felt about each other and what we both hoped and dreamed, that one day we would have a child together. Without even realizing it, our child was born. Therefor our first born child's song would have to be 'Tamika' by Immature.
"You mean the world to me, Tamika. You are my everything, Tamika".

We never knew exactly how long it would take to have our first child, or that our first born would be a boy. After 6 years we were completely over the moon to be parents! We never thought that we would fall pregnant for a second time so easily. Yasminah was a miracle from the very beginning. Despite a complicated pregnancy, she was our little angel and never would will realize just how true those words would be. After Yasminah passed away and even on the day of her funeral, Beyoncé's song 'Halo' played everywhere we went. I can still remember the warmth of the sun on my face, as tears streamed down my cheek after laying my daughter to rest. It quite quickly become 'her' song.

"Remember those walls I built, well baby they're tumbling down. They didn't even put up a fight. They didn't even make a sound. I found a way to let you in, but I never really had a doubt. Standing in the light of your halo, I've got my angel now. It's like I've been awakened, ever rule I had you breaking. It's the risk that I'm taking....... Everywhere I'm looking now I'm surrounded by your embrace. Baby I can see your halo. You know your my saving grace."

No song could more profoundly be appropriate for our twin daughters Aisha and Aaliyah than Israel "IZ" Kamakawiwoʻole's 'Somewhere over the rainbow'.
"Dreams really do come true"

I hope you can find your song. Sing your song. Sing like no one is listening!