ACCOUNTANT Sam McGibbon is swapping preventing debt for buckets of sweat – when he tackles one of the world’s most difficult races to raise money for charity.
The 28-year-old, from Stockport, will run 40 miles across the mountainous terrain of Gran Canaria in the searing heat to raise money for Derian House Children’s Hospice this Saturday (March 5).
Adventurous Sam, who admits this is “the craziest challenge he’s ever done”, hopes the daring feat will raise £2,000 for the hospice which cares for his friend’s baby son Alfie.
Alfie, who will celebrate his first birthday in May, spent time at Derian House after suffering a brain injury at birth. The charity supported his transition from hospital to home with the family staying at the hospice.
Sam, a management accountant at City Football Group, said: “This is a huge challenge for me, but I’m throwing myself into it – I don’t do things by halves.
“I was inspired by my older sister, Libbi, after she came third in the Chester Ultra 50-mile race. She always makes the impossible seem possible and it motivated me to sign up.
“What Derian House has done for Alfie and his parents is incredible and I want to raise as much as I can so that they can continue to take care of other families like theirs.”
Sam, who has been training since November, will fly to Gran Canaria on Thursday, March 3, to take part in the epic race.
Alfie’s mum, Tanita, said: “We are so grateful that Sam thought of us and of Derian – a wonderful charity that has supported us with our baby son.
“Alfie suffered a brain injury during birth where the blood and oxygen supply to his brain was cut off. This caused Alfie multiple difficulties and caring for him is challenging. It has been clear since he was born that he will have an uncertain future as his condition could be life-limiting.
“After Alfie was discharged from hospital at 10 weeks old, we went to Derian House where the incredible team supported us with the transition to home. As you can imagine, leaving hospital was a terrifying time for us, learning how to look after a very poorly baby on our own, but the staff at Derian House helped us every step of the way. They were on hand for advice when we needed and the facilities are incredible. Alfie had his first music session and spent time in the sensory room and did a bit of finger painting. Our week-long stay there helped build the confidence we needed to get us home as a family.
“This is only a small snippet of the support that Derian House provides to hundreds of children with complex needs and their families.”
Ellie Smith, Community Fundraiser at Derian House, said: “At Derian House, we support families like Alfie’s as they make the transition from hospital to home, providing them with the space needed to adjust to their changing circumstances.
“We’re so grateful that Sam has chosen to raise money for us. We couldn’t do what we do without the kindness of people who go out of their way to raise vital funds so we can continue to provide care for our children and young people, and their families.”
You can support Sam by donating to his JustGiving page: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/SamGranCanaria