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Dad in dress up dare for Sam

By Fiona Reid
Annan and Eskdale
Dad in dress up dare for Sam

A DOTING dad has become a fundraising sensation after donning a festive frock to help raise money in honour of his ill son.

Wee Sam Dorrance was diagnosed with Medulloblastoma, an aggressive brain tumour, in August, aged just four and just days after starting school.

And this month his family have raised just shy of £8000 (at 11 am on Christmas Eve)  for charity Clic Sargent, who operate Clic Villa where they can stay in Edinburgh during treatment.

Dad Graeme Dorrance, an ex Lockerbie Academy student, said: “Sam spent his fifth birthday in intensive care, that was absolutely heartbreaking and seeing unopened presents was awful.”

He added: “He has gone through absolute hell and continues to. All we can do is try and keep him smiling and laughing and let the doctors do the rest.

“He makes me prouder every day, he is an absolute superstar and an inspiration.”

Sam’s tumour was removed on September 2 but he still he needs radiotherapy and aggressive chemotherapy and now splits his time between Edinburgh Sick Children’s Hospital and the Clic Villa.

The family, including mum Tanya Turnbull, a Gretna native, and brother Ethan Turnbull now live in Stonehaven but retain strong links to Annandale.

Ethan, 13, was responsible for getting the fundraising ball rolling with a Christmas jumper day at his school.

CHRISTMAS JUMPER DAY . . . loving brother Ethan Turnbull raising money for Clic Sargent
CHRISTMAS JUMPER DAY . . . loving brother Ethan Turnbull raising money for Clic Sargent

Graeme said: “Donations quickly rose to £840. I jokingly said to Tanya if it reached £2000 I’d wear a Santa dress.

“She put that comment on Facebook when I went out for a walk and by the next afternoon it was obvious I needed to eat my words.

“I thought OK let’s do this and show a typical day with Sam via a photo diary and show how many people and charities help Sam on an average day.”

Last Saturday as Graeme donned a dress, hat, stripy tights and make-up, donations soared.

He said: “I’ve had messages from people saying they laughed at the posts as well as crying at the seriousness. It was very moving to hear that.

“Around the hospitals the reaction was great as it brought a smile to everyone’s face but most importantly Sam found it very funny.

“Out and about doing our daily things, like going to the shops, people either stared or smiled and laughed and spoke, or never batted an eyelid.

“One serious point here is that I find that if I’m out with Sam in his wheelchair people stare at his feeding tube or the cuts on his head or the fact his hair is falling out but this took attention away from him.”

DRESSED FOR SUCCESS . . . dad Graeme Dorrance with Clic Sargent employees at Clic Villa
FULL LENGTH . . . dad Graeme Dorrance 

So far nearly £8000 has been raised for Clic Sargent. Graeme said: “We are totally overwhelmed by the generosity of people. “I never imagined that Ethan’s fundraiser would make £2000 let alone what it stands at now.”


To donate visit:

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