Family takes on 13 mile walk to raise awareness of SUDEP
Lynn and Billy McGoff will take on a 13 mile walking challenge to raise awareness of Sudden Unexpected Death in Epilepsy (SUDEP). The walk is in memory of their daughter Samantha Ahearn.
Samantha died of SUDEP in July 2009, aged 19 after being diagnosed with epilepsy in December 2008. She had planned to study Social Work at Huddersfield University. Samantha achieved all the A level grades that she needed to get into University but she was not there when her results came through.
Lynn says Samantha would have made a fantastic Social Worker. She added: “she had so many lifelong experiences. She loved swimming and socialising with her friends. She once swam with dolphins and went scuba diving in Tenerife. She has done so much in her short life but always cared for people.”
Samantha’s brother Adam, 20 and 6 year old sister Alice are taking part in the walk. Along with friends and family, the McGoff’s will set off from Asda, Radcliffe, Manchester at 11am on 29 March 2014. They plan to walk to Printworks, approximately 13 miles from Asda via the main route of Radcliffe Road and Bury New Road. The Bierkellar based in Printworks has offered to provide a buffet at the end of the walk for all participants.
Lynn says: “We chose this date as it's the day before mothering Sunday so we wanted to do something with Samantha being very much about the day. We have 20 people so far, 16 of these are people that we have only known since moving house so hopefully it has expanded the word a bit more. All those who would like to cheer us on at the end are welcome to meet us at the Bierkellar in Printworks”
The group will be wearing their SUDEP Action t-shirts as well as personalised t-shirts of Samantha to raise awareness of SUDEP along the way.
The Mcgoff’s have raised more than £26,000 for SUDEP Action. SUDEP Action provides support for people bereaved by epilepsy and works with researchers to find answers to SUDEP. SUDEP is linked to seizures and it is important that people with epilepsy look after themselves and do all that they can to minimise their risk by obtaining seizure freedom where possible.
Epilepsy is one of the top-ten causes of early death and that is why more research is needed. It is important to know that there are many different types of epilepsy and therefore not everyone is at risk. Anyone who is concerned about their epilepsy should discuss the management of their individual risk with their health care provider.
To support the McGoff’s visit http://www.justgiving.com/samahearn