She’ll shortly be Sahara-bound and Walsall Manor Hospital Discharge Co-ordinator Sam Gibson plans to take her desert fundraising challenge in her stride – despite it being the equivalent of two marathon distances in two days!
The 37-year-old decided to push herself to get fit a few years ago and is now a regular at the gym while also training by walking along the borough’s canal paths.
She is due to fly from Stansted on 10 October before making the six-hour journey from Marrakesh to Tizguine to start The Saharan Challenge group event on 11 October and raise money for Walsall Healthcare’s Well Wishers charity.
“I haven’t been feeling too nervous about it to be honest and my colleagues have been supportive,” she said. “But there have been a couple of moments when I’ve suddenly thought: “It’s not that far away now.”
Sam, who has worked at Walsall Healthcare NHS Trust for three years, was able to put herself to the test at the end of August when she completed the 55k South Coast Eastbourne Challenge.
“It was tiring but I managed it. The temperatures in the desert should be in the 20s as opposed to excessively hot and I’ll make sure I’ve for my sun cream. The only thing that really concerns me is scorpions – I hate them and can’t stand to see pictures of them. Let’s hope they keep away!”
The Saharan Challenge takes a route along the Draa Valley with sand dunes and rugged mountain scenery accompanying its adventurers.
Sam wants the money she raises to go to the Older People’s Mental Health Team, to support patients with dementia in particular.
“In the course of my work I see many patients with dementia who need care and support and I’d like the funds raised to help them,” she said.
To sponsor Samantha please drop into the Purple Hub in the outpatient’s corridor of the Manor Hospital or go on to her Just Giving page.