Lacing up to Run for Mom

To help moms get the care they need, the Fraser Valley Health Care Foundation is holding its fifteenth annual Run for Mom event.

To help moms get the care they need, the Fraser Valley Health Care Foundation is holding its fifteenth annual Run for Mom event. The goal this year is a new fetal monitor for Chilliwack Hospital’s maternity ward. The device tracks mom’s and baby’s pulse during a labour.

This event is increasingly important as the Fraser Health Authority has its budget squeezed, now operating on the lowest per capita funding of any health authority in the province. The FHA relies more and more on hospital foundations to fund necessary equipment upgrades.

“All the departments, they need a lot more money and equipment and resources than the public system pays for, hence the need for hospital foundations,” says organizer Lisa Luky.

In this year’s Run for Mom, participants can choose to run an 8 km timed event, walk or run a 5 km route, or do a fun 1 km loup. The last is usually “for the eight and unders,” says Luky.

Last year, around 600 people took part, making the event one of the largest hospital foundation runs. The chip timed event draws competitive runners who can use the scores later on.

Participants raised enough for a new hospital bed, the type that has many moveable parts and allows a woman to remain in the same bed through the various stages of labour.

In its 15 years, Run for Mom has raised over $350,000 for the hospital to purchase new isolettes, maternity beds, monitors, and other equipment. Most of the funds purchased new equipment for the maternity ward.

The fetal monitor the hospital hopes to purchase this year, an Avalon FM30, is worth about $26,000. Chilliwack hospital’s equipment needs regular upgrading and replacement, Luky explains.

“Equipment changes a lot. It gets worn out, it gets broken down…Or the standards change, so that old equipment can’t be used anymore.”

Run for Mom will take place on Sunday, May 12, from 9:30 a.m. at UFV’s Trades & Technology Centre at Keith Wilson and Tyson. The location is particularly safe, says Luky, because runners won’t have to cross a street, and they won’t disturb city traffic.

This year’s run/walk will see a record number of prizes for participants, including golf clubs, bikes, massage gift certificates, flowers, chocolates. Those who collect over $750 in pledges are entered into a draw to win WestJet flight tickets.

Runners can also participate in teams, for a shot at the top fundraising team trophy.

The event encourages pledge drives. Sign-up for pledges is online.

“We do hope that a lot of people collect pledges,” says Luky. “That’s where the actual fundraising comes in. Everybody’s kind of in it together.”