Instead of enjoying his first year in primary school, 4 year old Sam Dorrance was forced to spend 10 months fighting a highly aggressive brain tumour, that suddenly came out of nowhere.
Between August 2015 and June 2016, he spent all but a handful of days with his mum and dad in Ward 2 of the Royal Hospital for Sick Children, sometimes in quarantine, sometimes in ITC and often undergoing surgery under general anaesthetic or receiving radio and chemotherapy.
The various treatments Sam was given, all the best available, were as devastating as the condition itself. The methods have advanced relatively little in several decades.
The Brain Tumour Charity is committed to projects that research better, more effective treatments for childhood brain cancers. In 2016, the charity set up 'Super Sam's Fund' so that 100% of donations could be dedicated to this specific strand of the charities funding. Family and friends of Sam rallied around and did a number of fundraising events for 'Super Sam's Fund'.
This one is 'Cycle for Sam'. In June 2016, Sam's Uncle Colin cycled 200 miles from Gretna Green to Stonehaven along with 'Team Sam' - a superb group of volunteer fellow cyclists and support crew and helped along the way by communities in Gretna and Stonehaven. Sam even joined us with his dad as we neared Stonehaven.
Sadly, within a couple of weeks, on 14th July 2016, Sam succumbed to his condition. He was 5 years old.
This year, between 13th and 16th July 2017, Team Sam, with some new additions and volunteers, will ride again in memory of Sam and his love of trains. They will form the 'C4S Express' and will ride from station to station between Carlisle and Stonehaven and back - a total of 468 miles!
We aim to top up last years' amazing total so that child cancer treatments can get the research time that they so desperately deserve. Please give generously.