Cycle 4 Sam
Shortly after Sam died in 2005 a friend of mine suggested we get a few cycling buddies together and ride up to Adelaide’s highest point, Mt Lofty, as a tribute to Sam.
This suggestion was very fitting because I had started cycling soon after Sam became ill. Cycling was a convenient source of fitness for me because I could ride early in the morning, and be back in time to help Michelle get Sam’s morning routine of feeding, bathing, and physiotherapy organized. (Not to forget getting Lucy and Charlie organized too!)
View a short clip on Cycle 4 Sam here
As Sam’s health declined further, and he became a permanent resident in the hospital, cycling became a great source of therapy for me-an opportunity for me to have some quiet, thinking time, whilst taking in the beauty of the Adelaide Hills.
When I would ride up Norton Summit, early on Sunday mornings, I would look out to the Women’s and Children’s Hospital, and think of Sam lying peacefully in his beautiful room, being cared for by his guardian angels, the nurses.
So on April 25th, 2005, one week after Sam had passed away, the first bike ride in honor of Sam was held with 8 cycling friends.
As we rode uphill in the dawn light, we remembered Sam and the courage he showed in his brave battle with Niemann-Pick Disease Type C.
On completion of the ride, with lattes at the Star Café in Norwood, a suggestion was made to make this ride an annual event! This idea was discussed with great enthusiasm! It was then suggested the ride could raise money for the Women’s and Children’s Hospital and we could ride from Melbourne to Adelaide!
I thought the idea was a wonderful way to celebrate Sam’s life. What better than to ride along the greatest coastal road in the world with your best mates along side you, and your family and friends supporting you along the way. At the same time we could raise much needed funds for and raise awareness of the Palliative Care Service, who looked after Sam and our family so wonderfully during his illness.
On December 6, 2005, the first official meeting was held at the Maylands Hotel with myself and two of my closest cycling mates, Jaimie Holland and Richard Fuller, in attendance.
Over a couple of beers the following details were discussed:
Goals of “Cycle 4 Sam”
- Raise awareness of the needs of children with rare diseases, and their families, in South Australia.
- Raise money for the Sam Roberts Family Fund which proudly supports the Women’s and Children’s Hospital Foundation, and the Paediatric Palliative Care Service.
Official name of the ride.
- The official name for this cycling event is “Cycle 4 Sam”.
- The name is symbolic as it highlights the first letter of each of our 3 children, Lucy, Sam, and Charlie, and, 4 is symbolic of the age Sam was when he died.
- The balloon is representative of the beautiful balloons released at Sam’s funeral, which are also featured on the “Paediatric Palliative Care Service” logo.