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15 October, 2022
Lauren Gaw is a Sales Operations Specialist for the Cardiovascular Group, founder of the Project Hope Employee Resource Group (ERG) and co-chair of the Medtronic Women’s Network (MWN). After the loss of her daughter Hope in 2020, Lauren founded and launched Project Hope in 2021. At Medtronic, Lauren has been able to share her story and build support structures for other families through an Ambassador Program.
My healing journey is a long one, and a journey that will no doubt last my lifetime. After losing Hope Aloma, I remember having this incredible fear that was all-consuming. It was the fear that my daughter would be forgotten and that no one would remember her name.
“Medtronic was instrumental in my healing. They gave me the space and time to grieve at my own pace, and I always felt my colleague’s support.”
When you lose a child, you realise just how many people are affected by pregnancy, infant and child loss. I needed to make sure others who walked the painful road like me never had to do so alone. It was okay to be vulnerable. Project Hope was born to honour all the little angels who had grown their wings way too soon. At first, Project Hope was about raising awareness, but it soon became about providing support to Medtronic employees who experienced this type of heartbreaking loss. Medtronic were on board from day one, and this just showed me how lucky I was to work for them.
Project Hope has had amazing support from Medtronic employees. So many people have come forward and spoken to me about losses they have endured, and how relieved they have felt to share their experience with our Project Team. The Medtronic Leadership Team have thrown their support around this initiative 110%. My family have always been supportive of my endeavours. Through Project Hope, we are definitely keeping Hope Aloma's memory alive. This is such a beautiful way for us to honour our little girl.
At first, I wanted to tell the world about my wonderful daughter, so to start with, one might say I was being a little selfish. I also wanted to make sure that everyone in the workplace felt as supported as I had if they were to ever experience the loss of a pregnancy, infant or child. Being able to speak our truth, gives us the ability to just grieve, without worrying about what people think of us. Having the space and time to grieve our way is so important. I knew that at Medtronic I was being presented with an opportunity to really make a difference. From that step forward in my career I never looked back.