What's Happening in Bury blog

Sam’s appeal just keeps on growing

A charity fund with an initial target of £500 has now reached a staggering £20,000.

The fund was set up in memory of Sam Ahearn, who died from an epileptic seizure in 2009 when she was just 19 years old.

Her parents Linda and Bill McGoff, of Radcliffe, say they have been touched by the amount of support they have received.

They launched The Sam Ahearn Appeal to raise money for charity Epilepsy Bereaved, which helped them after their daughter’s sudden death from a condition known as SUDEP.

Mrs McGoff, aged 47, said: “We set up a Justgiving website so that people could make a small donation in Sam’s memory on her birthday or other occasions. We first set our target at £500 and as money kept coming in, we kept increasing the target. It has progressed from there.

“The majority of the support we have had is from strangers who are touched by Sam’s story. We didn’t expect that. People are realising how serious SUDEP is.

“We had never heard of it before. People know all about cancer and other things that can kill you, and we feel it is important to get the message across about SUDEP.”

The appeal has even received celebrity support. An auction last year raised £6,500 and was attended by Radcliffe-born film director Danny Boyle. One of the items was a signed photograph of John Travolta, whose son, Jett, died from epilepsy. He sent it after hearing Sam’s story.

More fundraising events are planned this year, including a sponsored abseil down Peel Tower and a swimathon on May 12 at Radcliffe Pool and Fitness Centre.

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