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Sam's Superheroes Foundation

Sam's Superheroes Foundation is crowdfunding

0%
£2,896
raised of £50,000 target by 15 supporters

Weʼre raising £50,000 to fund UK research into FIRES (Febrile Infection Related Epilepsy Syndrome). We couldn't save Sam, but we need to save other children.

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Story

Our Challenge

On Friday, 20th September 2024, our team will embark on a KICK SCOOT from Aston University in Birmingham, home of the first UK FIRES research, to Sam’s hometown of DERBY. We will be covering 44 miles over three days and there won‘t be an electric scooter in sight!

Our goal is to raise £50,000 for UK FIRES research and bring awareness of this catastrophic and horrific syndrome.

Contact us at: samssuperheroes@outlook.com

Follow us on social media to get regular updates.

Facebook @TeamSamsSuperheroes click here.

Instagram @ SamsSuperheroesTherapyDogs click here

Website: www.SamsSuperheroes.co.uk click here

Our team includes NHS Doctors and Research Fellows from Great Ormond Street Hospital and Aston University Birmingham, who are the experts at the forefront of UK children’s FIRES research.

We have a core team who will scoot for three full days, plus a tag team will join for half or full days. On the final day, many more of Sam’s friends and Sam’s Superheroes supporters will also scoot with us as we make the final journey into his hometown. Sam is the heart and soul of this challenge, he adored his red scooter and rode it everywhere. His mum, Rachel, will carry that scooter on her back throughout the challenge, ensuring Sam is very much a part of the team!

Here is a photo of our gorgeous Sam with his famous red scooter!

Here are photos of some of the scooters we will be using in our challenge!

What is FIRES?

FIRES, or Febrile Infection Related Epilepsy Syndrome, is a rare and catastrophic condition that affects healthy children with no prior history of epilepsy or seizures. The seizures begin suddenly and explosively following a simple febrile infection or virus, rapidly progressing into relentless seizure activity that is exceptionally difficult to stop. Children may remain in an induced coma for weeks to months, with life-changing impacts. One in five children die during the acute stage, and those who survive often suffer significant neurological disabilities and life-long epilepsy.

It is not yet understood what causes FIRES and there are no known effective treatments. FIRES is desperately under-researched, with the first and only UK research study starting in 2023, funded by the Epilepsy Research Institute UK.

Sam's mum says, "FIRES literally threw us head-first into a world that we had never encountered before; one of critical care and epilepsy. We were witnessing things no parent should ever have to see and hear and were watching on helplessly as our child continually seized and was kept alive by machines. Every single day was a roller coaster as treatment after treatment didn’t work. Sam was fighting for his life day in and day out, alongside his awesome medical team.

Trying to stop Sam's seizures whilst keeping him alive was hugely complex, he had multiple medications, innovative treatments, and complications. But after seven weeks in critical care despite all of these treatments, despite the world leading care and despite the non-stop fight of our son and everyone involved, we just couldn’t stop his seizures. It was acutely distressing not only for us his family, but for everyone involved in his care.

After his fourth MRI scan, Sam’s team said the heart-stopping words no parent should ever have to hear. Sam had catastrophic, irreversible brain damage and they felt it was in his best interests for his life support to be withdrawn. The damage the seizures had done to his brain was just too great and meant that Sam would never have any meaningful recovery. And so, in the space of 7 short weeks our entire world had fallen apart and was destroyed by a syndrome we had never heard of before and which had no known effective treatments.

As parents who loved our son so very much, we had a responsibility. We couldn’t allow him to suffer any more than he was and wanting to do what was right for Sam supported his team’s decision, despite our feelings of utter heartbreak.

To put it bluntly this syndrome is every parents worst nightmare. Whilst it is rare, there are children currently fighting FIRES in the UK; with two in the East Midlands area alone. We need to #FindACureForFIRES to stop other children and families from having their lives destroyed by this horrific syndrome."

To learn more about Sam's FIRES story click here .

Here is a photo of Sam and Daisy dressed up for Halloween in October 2020! Alongside it is a photo from April 2021; Daisy was visiting Sam in paediatric critical care at Nottingham's Queen's Medical centre.

Below is another photo of beautiful Sam in paediatric critical care. Sam was on multiple medications and innovative treatments to try and stop his seizures. Whilst medications would initially work, his brain would find a way round them and start seizing again. FIRES is utterly horrific and is the nightmare of all nightmares.

About Our Sam

Sam was beautiful, kind, loving, caring and joyful. He adored cuddling up to his dog Daisy and exploring the great outdoors. Shy with people he didn’t know, he was articulate and had wisdom beyond his years. Sam loved superheroes and making his family and many friends laugh! He was a healthy child and rarely ill, but just after his 5th birthday, Sam and our family were catapulted head-first into a battle to save his life from the sudden onset of FIRES. After a seven-week fight in paediatric critical care at Queen’s Medical Centre in Nottingham, our beautiful Sam passed away due to catastrophic and irreversible brain damage, caused by his relentless seizure activity.

Here is a photo of Sam modelling his new school uniform at his nana and grandpa's house in Blackpool. He was so excited to be starting Primary School. Sam fell ill just over six months later.

A few more beauties of our boy!

The Purpose

Our fundraising challenge has two primary goals. The first is to raise awareness of FIRES to attract more research. The cause of FIRES is still unknown, and there are currently no effective treatments. FIRES is desperately under-researched, with the first and only UK research study starting in 2023. Our second goal is to urgently raise as much money as possible to help fund further research. Whilst we could not save Sam, we can strive to save other children.

Support this challenge, and YOU could help save children’s lives...what an IMPACT YOU could make!

Our Supporters - NHS Doctors & Researchers

We are thrilled to be partnering with an incredible team of NHS Doctors and Research Fellows from Great Ormond Street Hospital and Aston University, Birmingham. These experts are at the forefront of UK children’s FIRES research and some of them are shown in the photo below. This photo was taken at the UK's Epilepsy Research Institute's 'The Promise of Research' Reception, held at the Francis Crick Institute in London, May 2024.

Left to right: Dr Marios Kaliakatsos, Dr Sukhvir Wright, Rachel Liew - Sam’s mum, Dr Evangelia Ioannidou and Dr Dimitrios Champsas

Dr Ioannidou Great Ormond Street Hospital, London says:

"Hope transforms into action through charity. Together, we can turn Sam's hope for a FIRES cure into reality by supporting research with our enthusiasm & donations"

Dr Kaliakatsos, Consultant Neurologist, Great Ormond Street Hospital, London says:

“The FIRES patients and their families are etched in the clinician’s heart forever. Scoot with us in Sam’s memory and help our research so that Sam is one of the last children who lose their life or childhood due to this devastating disease”

Our Supporter - Bex Band, Adventurer

We are incredibly grateful for the support of the renowned Bex Band, an adventurer and founder of ‘Love Her Wild,’ the UK’s largest women’s adventure community. Bex is a bestselling author and blogger, with her website attracting over 1.4 million visitors. She is a true kick scooting pro! Bex says:

“I’m really excited to be supporting this incredible adventure. What a great way to remember Sam‘s memory and to raise money for an excellent cause. As someone who has kick scooted over 1600 miles, the length of the USA, I can tell you this team is in for a real challenge – but adventure is guaranteed along the way!”

www.TheOrdinaryAdventurer.com click here

A few of our other Supporters

We already have the backing of a number of fantastic organisations and businesses including:

- The NORSE Institute in America the leading global expert on FIRES www.NorseInstitute.org click here

- Ashgates Accountancy in Derby who have supported Sam’s Superheroes for three years www.ashgates.co.uk click here

- The Robin in Mickleover who are hosting our celebrations once we cross the finish line! click here

- Chris Newsome Images in Derby professional photographer for the challenge www.chrisnewsomeimages.co.uk click here

- Penguin PR in Derby are supporting us to provide fantastic media awareness and opportunities www.penguinpr.co.uk click here

Sam's Superheroes Foundation

Sam's Superheroes were established to ensure Sam’s life continues to make a difference in the world for years to come. We fund animal assisted therapies and creative activities, support FIRES research and offer grants to families affected by FIRES. We recently applied to become a registered charity.

Sam's Dog Daisy

Daisy, Sam’s black labrador, plays a leading role in our charity through her transformative Therapy Dog work with young people. She came into Sam’s life as a puppy, when he was two years old. It was love at first sight and they were joined at the hip from that point onwards! She is loving, kind, joyful, calm and caring - just like Sam.

Daisy makes astounding impact in her work, connecting with children in ways adults simply can’t. She spreads Sam’s love and energy in the world and makes children smile wherever she goes. We are proud she has reached the final of BBC Radio Derby’s Local Hero Awards 2024 for her work. The final will be held in September so watch this space!

A photo of Daisy and Sam joined at the hip!

The day Daisy joined our family!

Sam and Daisy playing together on holiday in the Lake District

Sam's Mum

Since Sam died, Sam's mum has been committed to #FindACureForFIRES. She has shared Sam’s FIRES story with doctors, researchers and the wider community to raise awareness and support the critical need for research. As part of this she even shared personal diary extracts click here from when Sam was fighting FIRES in hospital.

In 2023, she was a guest speaker at the NORSE Institute International Conference click here

This year she also shared Sam’s story at the UK's Epilepsy Research Institute Reception in London. click here.

To read more about Sam's FIRES story click here

Thank you from Sam's Mum

Every single bit of support we receive is gratefully appreciated.

By supporting, you are not only helping save children's lives, but you also helping a mum survive the unsurvivable; 'the death of her child'. I am surviving the only way I know how by putting all my pain and overwhelming love for my son into a purpose; my son's charity, Sam's Superheroes Foundation, and #FindACureForFIRES.

Please do remember it‘s more than just financial support, every 'share' you give us to raise awareness is massively important too. And, we are also looking for support from individuals or businesses who can provide RAFFLE PRIZES, products, merchandise or equipment, this list is endless. Or, you could even arrange your own local fundraisers?!

Please drop us an email at samssuperheroes@outlook.com if you have any ideas of how you can help. Or, take a look at our sponsorship packages on our website at www.samssuperheroes.co.uk.

We could not save Sam, but we must try and save other children.

#FebrileInfectionRelatedEpilepsySyndrome #SamsSuperheroes #SamsBigScoot #EpilepsyResearch #FIRESResearch #SamLiew #RachelLiew #FindACureForFIRES #TherapyDogs #EpilepsyResearchInstitute #NORSEInstitute #EpilepsyResearchInstitute #ChildrensResearch #SaveChildrensLives

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Sam's Superheroes Foundation

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    10 days ago

    Sam's Superheroes Foundation started crowdfunding

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    Page last updated on: 7/13/2024 16.41

    Supporters

    15

    • Diane, Ella, Dolly and Darcy

      Diane, Ella, Dolly and Darcy

      Jul 13, 2024

      Good luck everyone !

      £20.00

    • Marie Wright

      Marie Wright

      Jul 13, 2024

      Good luck with this very important cause x Sam would be proud of you all xxx

      £25.00

    • Ravensdale School Fete Proceeds

      Ravensdale School Fete Proceeds

      Jul 12, 2024

      Proceeds from Sam's Superheroes attending Ravensdale School 60th Celebrations!

      £118.00

    • Evie Gaskill

      Evie Gaskill

      Jul 12, 2024

      Fundraising from the Inside Out 2 Cake we baked at the end of June! Good luck with your challenge! Love Evie, Suzie and Peggy xxx

      £40.00

    • JO'R

      JO'R

      Jul 12, 2024

      £50.00

    • Wendy Garvey Author

      Wendy Garvey Author

      Jul 12, 2024

      Rachel’s determination to ensure that Sam’s Memory lives on through helping others is inspirational. Wishing you all Good Luck with Sam’s Scoot 💕

      £50.00

    • Lisa Jones Armstrong

      Lisa Jones Armstrong

      Jul 10, 2024

      Good luck xx

      £10.00

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    About the fundraiser
    Sam's Superheroes Foundation

    Sam's Superheroes Foundation

    Derby

    Fundraising carried out by Sam's Superheroes Foundation. A charity created in memory of Sam Liew who died age five years old, in May 2021 from the sudden onset of Febrile Infection Related Epilepsy Syndrome (FIRES); a rare & catastrophic condition affecting healthy children.

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