A MUM who gave birth to a stillborn baby girl and her dad who underwent cancer treatment just a few months later are being joined by family and friends to thank the hospitals that helped them.

Rachel Featherstone from Lea Green says the bereavement team at Whiston Hospital helped so much when she gave birth to her daughter Madison in May 202, only to learn that she was stillborn.

The mum-of-four said: “When Maddie was born sleeping, the support provided by the Bereavement Midwifery Team was second to none, they provided us with things we didn't even know we needed until they were handed to us.

St Helens Star: Rachel holding Maddie

“Most people don’t know they are going to be in this situation, we had nothing prepared, and the hospital gave us a beautiful memory box filled with things to help us create special memories with her.

“Things like matching teddies and I’ve got one and the other was put in with Maddie and a keyring with the heart in the centre taken out and placed in Maddie’s hand. Little things like that and prints of her hands and feet and clothes that fit are all things we couldn’t think of for ourselves at the time.

“They also provided us with a cold cot which gave us precious time with her, all of these things cost money and the hospital or other parents like us have donated them.

“I didn’t get to take Maddie home, but I had a box full of memories, and it’s not the same, but because of them I left with something, I wasn’t empty handed and I have it forever.

“They will never know how much that meant to me. How much it helped me grieve.”

Just a few months later, Rachel’s dad John Stigwood from Oldham, underwent cancer treatment at The Christie in Manchester.

She added: “My dad got a colostomy bag after treatment, he joke’s The Christie gave him his bag for life.

St Helens Star: The team will walk 32 miles on Saturday

“The Christie saved my dad and when he was doing physical therapy he was determined and decided himself while walking round the ward that once he was cancer free and better, he’d do a walk for The Christie and Whiston to thank them both.

“The aim of this centre is to allow patients to access first-class cancer treatment closer to home. Donations to this charity help to fund services and projects at The Christie and enables them to offer services for cancer patients above and beyond NHS funding.

“Now he’s finally doing better we’ve decided to do it this Saturday, May 25 and are calling the walk March for Maddie and we are walking with 15 others from his favourite football team Oldham FC to Whiston Hospital to raise as much as possible for the two places.

"I'm overwhelmed that people want to do this with us for my dad and in Maddie's memory. it means so much.”

To donate to the fundraising effort, which will take 14 hours over 32 miles to complete, go to app.collectionpot.com/pot/march-for-maddie