Challenge 21: Challenge yourself in honour of Sam Roberts
Michelle and Marty Roberts’ middle child, Sam, had just turned two when they were given the shattering news that their gorgeous, blonde-haired, little boy was terminally ill with a very rare neurological degenerative condition called Niemann-Pick Disease Type C.
After a courageous battle fought in the Women’s and Children’s Hospital (WCH), young Sam passed away in 2005 just before his fifth birthday.
Sam and his family spent many years in and out of the WCH, his siblings Lucy and Charlie (pictured above) growing up by his side in the Hospital environment.
“We are just one of hundreds of families who have experienced this situation though,” Marty said.
“Sam was beautiful and the cutest little boy. We were so fortunate to have many happy and joyful memories when he was with us,” Michelle said.
“We’re deeply indebted to the care and love that he got from the Hospital,” Marty added.
The Roberts family have spent the past 15 years fundraising for the Women’s & Children’s Hospital Foundation (WCH Foundation) in his memory. They created the Sam Roberts Family Fund and through their Cycle 4 Sam fundraiser have contributed over $750,000 to various projects for the WCH Foundation and the WCH Paediatric Palliative Care Service.
They celebrated Sam’s 21st birthday on June 30, 2021.
“We always used to like to celebrate birthdays with him,” Michelle said.
“Even though, for me, he’s still forever a four-year-old, so it’s hard to imagine him 21.”
“We remember Sam as being a little boy who endured a huge amount in his short life,” Marty agreed, “So to honour him on his 21st birthday is really important.”
“It reminds us of not only the time that we had with him but also the years since and the joy we’ve had having Cycle 4 Sam in his memory.”
The pair said it is a joyous experience remembering Sam with their family and friends through their fundraising events.
“It’s a way that we can keep Sam part of our lives and our family,” Michelle said.
“He was very cute and cheeky, and he did love having people around him, so he’d probably be amazed with all the fuss being made about him.”
In honour of Sam’s 21st birthday, we are asked our community to challenge themselves to raise funds to support families like the Roberts who benefit from the WCH Foundation.
We launched the inaugural Challenge 21, so that anyone, anywhere, can take on any challenge they like to support sick kids.
It’s simple; choose and take on a challenge related to the number 21. You could run 21km’s, give something up for 21 days, or get creative and come up with your own challenge! Then, get your friends and family to sponsor you and raise funds for some of South Australia’s most vulnerable children and their families.
Are you up for Challenge 21?
Registrations for Challenge 21 are now open. Sign up for free as an individual or a team and start raising funds in the lead up to our Challenge period.
“No matter what you do, you can all make a difference,” Michelle said.
“You can be as creative as you like, there are no limitations,” Marty added.
“Any challenge that someone does with the number 21 is going to benefit them physically, mentally or spiritually – they’re going to become better people as a result of setting a challenge in Sam’s memory. We’re really excited about it.”
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