FOOTBALL has brought two rival coaches and their families together in a bid to overcome the grief surrounding stillbirth.
MetroStars reserves coach Michael Pirone and his wife Vanessa, Adelaide City reserves boss Tony Sacca and his wife Susie have joined forces to raise funds for Pregnancy Loss Australia after their two sons were born sleeping almost four years apart.
The MetroStars and Adelaide City clash at TK Shutter Reserve on Saturday (April 12) has been set down to help Australia become aware that stillbirths happen to six Australian families every day.Michael, 35, and Vanessa Pirone, 34, lost their first born son Michael junior at Calvary Hospital on May 28, 2010.
He was later buried at Payneham Cemetery.At the time of Michael junior’s death the couple who have since had their first daughter Mia and are expecting a second child in July did not know about Pregnancy Loss Australia’s support network.
The charity began in 2002 in South Australia by Kylie Crawford and Trudi Penrose-Starr who suffered the tragic loss of their daughters from twin to twin transfusion syndrome which is a disease of the placenta.
“We had a lot of family support,’’ Vanessa Pirone said.
“We were lucky my aunty went through a similar experience 20 odd years ago, so my mum called her.
“She was our support person and helped us organise the funeral and put us on the right path.
“But we didn’t deal with as best as Tony and Susie, they were open and I think the difference was they had support from Pregnancy Loss Australia.
“It shouldn’t be a taboo subject and it does help you move forward.
“There’s days I still struggle even with having another child.”Michael said the football community had helped him deal with the loss of Michael junior.
“I remember the day after Michael junior was stillborn I was meant to play against Raiders and I week after the funeral we played Galaxy at TK Shutter,’’ Michael said.
“I remember Steve De Giovanniello and Carl Maynard they came in after the game and gave me a bunch of flowers for my wife.
“A lot of people lived it with us.
”Tony and Susie Sacca’s baby boy Anthony Angelo was born sleeping on March 25 last year.
Anthony Angelo was buried at Enfield Cemetery.
Tony said when Michael and Vanessa Pirone heard the news they comforted the young Seaton-based couple.
“When I called her (Vanessa) she did everything,’’ said Susie who is expecting another boy in May.
“She took over and fortunately she was there.”
“But Pregnancy Loss Australia ... without it we wouldn’t be where we are right now.
“Now we can talk about it openly and say it did happen, this is why we’re doing it.
“They get you on the path to healing.”
An Alessandro Del Piero signed soccer ball is just one of the prizes donated to the Pregnancy Loss Australia cause.
Donations can be made at the clash on Saturday.