People of Georgian: Daughter’s stillbirth leads to charity for grieving families

What’s your story?

The Georgian community is full of unique, inspiring perspectives —and we’re sharing them as part of an ongoing series.

People of Georgian: Meet Mathew Morrison

Trigger warning: pregnancy and infant loss

My wife, Theresa, got pregnant almost straight away after we got married, but we lost our first pregnancy within a few weeks.

That was tough. But then she got pregnant again three to four months later when I was finishing my studies at Georgian. It was a healthy pregnancy, no complications.

During our last midwife appointment, my wife was full term – but they couldn’t find a heartbeat. So, we went to the hospital for an ultrasound and that’s when they confirmed there was no heartbeat.

Obviously, it was really hard news to hear and one of those traumatic events that keeps playing in your mind.

And then we had to start the induction process because you still have to give birth to that baby.

Bridget was born on Nov. 2, 2017.

Two adults and two children sit on the floor together, while one of the adults holds a framed photo of a baby.
Mathew with his wife, Theresa, and daughters, Bridget (in the framed image), Jocelyn and Lillian.

‘A really peaceful moment’

We hadn’t known if it was a boy or girl, so when she was born it was exciting to find out the gender. We had a boy name and girl name picked out.

You would think it would be horrible, but it was actually a really peaceful moment. It was nice to get to hold her and spend time with her, and family got to meet her.

After the dust settled though, we sort of felt isolated, like we were the only ones this had ever happened to.

We soon discovered there had been many before us. Pregnancy and infant loss is one of those topics nobody really talks about or knows what to do when it happens.

We had supportive family at the time who provided some items to us like notepads, a stuffed animal bunny to squeeze, food and this special sage tea that reduces milk supply.

The first three kits to support families

The first Mother’s Day after Bridget was born, Theresa had the idea to create some kits with similar items to provide the hospital for people who had lost their own babies. Theresa’s friends got together and gave us about $600, and we were able to purchase our first three kits, which we provided to Royal Victoria Regional Health Centre.

They were very happy to receive them, and we got a call a couple weeks later asking if we could provide more.

It was then we realized pregnancy and infant loss is common; it happens a lot more than people think.

That’s when we came up with Bridget’s Run, a charity run to fund these kits. We expected maybe 50 friends to come out, but 350 people showed up and we raised about $33,000.

It really showed us the community was looking for something like this and needed to be able to celebrate their babies as well.

A large group of adults and children stand together for a photo outside in a park.
The 2023 Bridget’s Run takes place Saturday, Oct. 21.

Bridget’s Run during Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month

Since then, it spiraled into a registered charity, Bridget’s Bunnies, with one employee and a board of directors. This year’s Bridget’s Run is on Saturday, Oct. 21 during Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month.

We’ve expanded to most of the hospitals and primary care centres in Simcoe Muskoka, along with some midwifery clinics and an on-demand, free service online for anyone across Canada.

Three adults stand with their arms around each other's shoulders. One of their shirts reads "Bridget's Run."
Mathew, centre, with friends during a Bridget’s Run event.

You’re not alone

Today, we have two daughters – Jocelyn, five, and Lillian, three. They both know about Bridget, their big sister.

We want people to know they’re not alone in pregnancy and infant loss.

We’re never going to solve it, but at least we can support one another.

Mathew Morrison, Financial Analyst and Reporting Officer and alumnus of Georgian’s Business Administration – Accounting program. Mathew and his wife, Theresa, founded Bridget’s Bunnies, a registered charity named after their late daughter, aimed at supporting people experiencing pregnancy and infant loss.

Join Bridget’s Run

This year’s Bridget’s Run, a charity fun run or walk, takes place on Saturday, Oct. 21 during Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month. Georgian students, employees, alumni and their families who want to participate in Bridget’s Run can use the discount code GEORGIAN when registering.

Our categories