‘It’s a moving tribute, a celebration of compassion’

By on September 22, 2023

Why Erin Collins started the Chasing Rainbows Charity Race

Erin Collins organized the race in memory of her son, B.B.Collins. (Photo courtesy of Erin Collins)

After Erin Collins lost her son right before his due date in 2019, she did the only thing she could think of that had gotten her through ups and downs in life. She laced up her shoes and went for a run.

“I’ve always been a runner,” said Collins, explaining that when she needed to clear her mind, or when she was in school and needed to take a break, or when she and her husband would have something they needed to talk about, they’d say, “Let’s go for a walk.”

“You know, everyone has their reasons for running…I had anticipated having a newborn and no time on my hands and was just sitting around and nesting. And then when that didn’t happen, I was just like, ‘what do I do?’” she recounted. Even though it was incredibly hard to leave the house and put her postpartum body through it, she knew that ultimately running would be a big part of her healing.

Since then, Collins has run a race each year benefitting various causes or community members that are meaningful to her, but always honoring her son and carrying his memory with her on those runs. Last year was the first year she didn’t participate in a run.

“And I know it sounds a little weird, but…it just really made me depressed. There’s certain things that when you go through a tragedy, I don’t know if you’ve ever heard that expression grief is like an ocean…sometimes it’s a ripple, sometimes it’s a wave. Sometimes it’s like a tsunami, and not having that race or setting aside the time for it just really got to me.”

So this year, on the four-year anniversary of the loss of her child, Collins decided to channel all of that grief into creating her own run—the Chasing Rainbows Charity Race, a 5k community run, walk, or stroll that will take place on Oct. 1 at 103 Veterans Drive in Kill Devil Hills starting at 8:30 a.m.

The event is dedicated to Pregnancy, Infant, and Child Loss Awareness Month, and to her son, B.B. Collins. Proceeds will go to The Maternal Alloimmunization Foundation and OBX Mommy and Me, a local group of mothers who not only supported Collins through her loss, but also helped her plan the race along with Outer Banks Running Company.

B.B. passed away from hemolytic disease of the fetus and newborn (HDFN) caused by maternal alloimmunization. According to Collins, this means that during her pregnancy, her body essentially created antibodies “and those antibodies cross over the placenta, see him as a foreign object, and then attack his red blood cells, causing the baby to become anemic,” explained Collins.

According to the Maternal Alloimmunization Foundation website, this is usually caused by previous exposure to a different blood type, typically from a previous blood transfusion or a previous pregnancy and can be managed if it is caught. Collins said that maternal alloimmunization, and stillbirth in general, is much more common than people realize in this country.

According to legislation that was introduced in Congress this year, 22,000 stillbirth deaths occur nationally each year, a number which has remained largely unchanged for the past 30 years. In North Carolina alone, there are close to 800 stillbirth deaths each year, according to Count the Kicks, an evidence-based campaign that teaches expectant parents about the importance of tracking fetal movements.

Collins hopes that bringing more awareness to these topics will help pregnant women in the future to see signs and advocate for their medical needs. Collins had high antibody counts at the beginning of her pregnancy.

“I feel like if I would have pressed a little harder and gotten the medical care that my son and I deserved, the outcome could have been different,” she said. “Nowadays, the medical field is stressed to the max, and it is important that people not be afraid to demand that their needs and concerns be addressed.”

According to Collins, she’s already heard from a range of people on the Outer Banks that have been affected by the death of an infant in some way. Just the other day, she was in Lowe’s looking for a toilet and the man helping her asked if she was a runner. She told him about her race, and he told her that many years ago, he had twins and one of them didn’t make it.

“And he was a seventy-year-old man. So me and this guy are suddenly standing there crying over the toilets,” she said.

With constant monitoring and medical attention, Collins was able to give birth to a daughter after her son’s death. “So when we have a baby after you have a miscarriage or baby dies, or something like that, it’s called a rainbow baby,” she explained.

At the race, there will be an opportunity for families to use sidewalk chalk to write the name of their lost loved one’s name in remembrance.

“The Chasing Rainbows 5k isn’t just a race – it’s a moving tribute, a celebration of compassion, and a demonstration of solidarity within the community,” said Collins.

Chasing Rainbows Charity Race, a 5k community run, walk, or stroll that will take place on Oct. 1 at 103 Veterans Drive in Kill Devil Hills starting at 8:30 a.m. For more information about the Chasing Rainbows 5k and to register or donate, please visit: https://runsignup.com/Race/NC/KillDevilHills/ChasingRainbows.



Barnhill Contracting Company will receive sealed proposals for Manns Harbor – EMS/Fire Facility (EMS-8), Kitty Hawk – EMS/Fire Facility (EMS-9), Manteo – Youth Center on January 09, 2024. Times to be given on via addendum #01. See the following SCOPE OF WORK: BP 100 – General Trades, BP 105 – Final Cleaning, BP 205 – Demolition, BP 390 – Turnkey Concrete, BP 400 – Turnkey Masonry, BP 500 – Turnkey Structural Steel & Misc. Steel, BP 505 – Light Gauge Metal Trusses, BP 740 – Roofing, BP750 – Siding, BP 790 – Caulking/Sealants, BP 800 – Turnkey Doors/Frames/Hardware/Toilet Specialties/Accessories/Division 10, BP 840 – Curtainwall/Storefront/Glass/Glazing, BP 925 – Drywall/Framing, BP 960 – Resilient Flooring/Carpet/Base/Epoxy, BP 980 – Acoustical Ceilings, BP 990 – Painting and Wall Coverings, BP 1230 – Finish Carpentry and Casework, BP 1250 – Window Treatments, BP 2100 – Fire Protection, BP 2200 – Plumbing, BP 2300 – HVAC, BP 2600 – Electrical, BP 3100 – Earthwork/Turnkey Site, BP 3213- Site Concrete, BP 3290 – Landscaping. Scopes of work may be added and/or deleted at the discretion of the Construction Manager.

Bid Location and Time: Bid opening will be held in the Barnhill Contracting Rocky Mount Training & GPS Technology Room: 800 Tiffany Bvld, Rocky Mount, NC 27804. Time is as follows: January 09, 2024 at 10:00am and 2:00pm. Times per packages to be given on via addendum #01.

Barnhill Contracting Company will receive, open, and read publicly all bids received in person in the Training & GPS Technology Room at the main office and listed with the virtual viewing at the link to be posted on Barnhill’s Plan Room.

Bids will not be accepted from bidders that are not pre-qualified. No facsimile or email submissions are permitted. Sealed bids are to be hand delivered to the bid opening location noted above or mailed Sealed Bids can be delivered before 9:00am the day of the bid to the Barnhill Contracting Company Office at 800 Tiffany Blvd., Suite 200 Rocky Mount, NC 27804. Attention “Clint Hardison.”

The pre-bid meeting will be held in Person & Zoom Meeting on December 06, 2023 at 10:00 am at the Barnhill Contracting’s Rocky Mount Main Conference Room: 800 Tiffany Bvld, Rocky Mount, NC 27804.

The pre-bid meeting link can be located on Barnhill’s online Building Division Plan Room ( https://app.buildingconnected.com/public/54da832ce3edb5050017438b) and below. A preferred brand alternates meeting will be held via the same link at the end of the Prebid meeting.

Bid Documents can be viewed or downloaded through Barnhill’s online Building Division Plan Room (https://app.buildingconnected.com/public/54da832ce3edb5050017438b) after 12/04/2023.

All Bidders are strongly encouraged to include opportunities for HUB participation wherever possible in their respective Bid submission.  HUB participation is a part of this contract and must comply with all requirements set forth in the Bid Documents.

The Construction Manager and Owner reserve the right to add pre-qualified bidders. The Construction Manager and Owner reserve the right to reject any and all bids. Should you require additional direction, please call Barnhill Contracting Company, (Clint Hardison – 252-802-0740).

Clint Hardison is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting.

Topic: Dare EMS – Phase 2 Pre-Bid Conference

Time: Dec 6, 2023 10:00 AM Eastern Time (US and Canada)

Join Zoom Meeting


Meeting ID: 823 9069 2985

One tap mobile

+17866351003,,82390692985# US (Miami)

+13126266799,,82390692985# US (Chicago)

Dial by your location

  • +1 786 635 1003 US (Miami)
  • +1 312 626 6799 US (Chicago)
  • +1 470 250 9358 US (Atlanta)
  • +1 646 518 9805 US (New York)
  • +1 346 248 7799 US (Houston)
  • +1 213 338 8477 US (Los Angeles)

Meeting ID: 823 9069 2985

Find your local number: https://barnhillcontracting.zoom.us/u/kbYOel03V

Join by SIP

Join by H.323

  • (US West)
  • (US East)

Meeting ID: 823 9069 2985



Comments are closed.