‘Sober Sam’ nears the end of his three month alcohol abstinence challenge!

Sam Stephen has taken on an innovative way of raising money to support Tommy’s. With a target of £500.00, Sam has taken a dry Jan, dry Feb and dry March all in one go!

Sober Sam

Tommy’s guest blog, 22/03/2017, by Sam Stephen

At Tommy’s we really appreciate the support of all of our fundraisers and understand how hard raising money can actually be.

With so many fundraisers taking to social media seeking donations, it can sometimes feel hard to come up with a new fundraising challenge

Enter Sober Sam!

Sam Stephen has taken on the challenge of starting 2017 alcohol free – and remaining so for a quarter of the year! Now over half way through his challenge, we caught up with Sam to see where his motivation lies.

‘A few months ago my best friend was talking about holding a charity event for her 30th birthday! But being around Christmas it just wasn’t the right time to put on an event. So, that got me thinking: I’ll do something for you. Gift cards, champagne, and clothes every year is nice but I wanted to get my friend something to remember.

 My friend has had a turbulent few years with devastating fertility problems and multiple miscarriages.   After three miscarriages, she was finally tested for any issues that might be affecting her ability to keep a pregnancy, a Reciprocal Balanced Translocation was discovered’

Reciprocal Balanced Translocation is a genetic disorder which can cause repeated miscarriage, amongst other issues, whilst trying or carrying a baby.

A balanced reciprocal translocation is where parts of two chromosomes have broken off and ‘swapped’ places. There is the right amount of genetic material but it is arranged in an unusual pattern.

This has no effect on the health of the individual, but can cause reproductive problems such as recurrent miscarriages or reduced fertility.

This happens because a parent with a balanced translocation can pass on a combination of chromosomes (called an unbalanced translocation) whereby there are 3 copies of some genes and only one copy of other genes.

At Tommy’s we know that recurrent miscarriage is a heartbreaking experience and can be the start of a very lonely time.

67% of women we surveyed said that they couldn’t even talk to their best friend about their miscarriage.

Sam was there for his friend in the aftermath of her loss and witnessed first had the pain that she went through.

We think it’s wonderful that he is taking on such a unique challenge to show his support and raise awareness.

‘I want to raise awareness for this great charity and highlight, in my personal experience, that after the loss of a child, women and the partners grieve in many different ways. This loss can affect their mental wellbeing too. It’s great to be involved with raising funds for Tommy’s, who have great support before, during and after, with care and advice as well as research and clinical work within hospitals.’

Sam has found it challenging so far as he has a very social job where he meets clients and attends events, ‘It’s hard not to have a glass or two!’

His motivation to support his friend is keeping him on track though,

‘It's also made me appreciate my friend. By doing more research into Tommy's Charity and in particular her past situation. The constant reminder of what I'm doing it for made it easy!’

Tommy’s are aiming to half the number of babies lost during pregnancy or birth by 2030. We couldn’t do this without the support of incredible fundraisers like Sam.

‘Rather than wasting my money on getting a hangover I want to put it to good use!’

If you want to see how Sam is getting on and show your support, you can follow his progress on Facebook or Instagram.

If you fancy taking on a challenge for Tommy’s, take a look at our fundraising pages for ideas about how you can help.

Read more charity fundraising stories

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