Outstanding Perkins Up For Award

Sam Perkins, from East Leake, Nottinghamshire, has been named as a finalist in this year’s Outstanding Commitment category for the GoCardless JustGiving Awards, after raising more than £250,000 for charity.

In 2019, at age 37, Sam was diagnosed with motor neurone disease (MND) which led to him losing the ability to eat, speak, and breathe, along with  all movement in his body.

Sam refused to let the devastating disease stop him from taking part in the sports he loves and since his diagnosis, Sam has competed in a half ironman triathlon and three marathons.

Nine months after his diagnosis Sam and his wife, Emma, founded their own charity, Stand Against MND, with the aim of funding MND research and supporting patients and their families in need of palliative care.

Since setting up the charity, more than £250,000 has been raised on JustGiving to aid Stand Against MND in their mission to find a cure and support those affected by MND.

By participating in both the 2023 and 2024 London Marathons, Sam himself fundraised almost £30,000 for the charity.

Sam said: “I am feeling a little overwhelmed by this nomination. There are so many people out there doing such amazing things, that to be shortlisted was a huge surprise and honour.

“I’m so grateful to everyone who nominated me, and to the judges that shortlisted me, it’s an extremely humbling recognition to receive and great for the MND Community.

“Prior to my diagnosis I was a fit and active person participating in more than 40 triathlons, including two ironman races but for all my recent challenges I have had to rely on a ventilator to breathe and it is not an exaggeration to say that if my ventilator support fails during a challenge, I will die.

“Just like me, MND doesn’t stand still. As the challenges have passed by, my condition has continued to progress and thrown problems in alongside my need to keep breathing. Mitigating risk and devising solutions is a constant challenge, but I haven’t been defeated yet!

“I am really looking forward to being able to have friends, family and charity supporters all in one place for a night of celebration together. My achievements rely on the support of so many people, they deserve a night of recognition and celebration too.”

After being nominated by members of the public, Sam, was selected as a finalist by a panel of judges which included TV Personality, Jake Quickenden, Strictly Come Dancing’s, Amy Dowden, actor and presenter, Sunetra Sarker, award-winning British broadcaster, Adele Roberts, award-winning BBC Radio 1 presenter and DJ, Rickie Haywood-Williams and former Paralympian swimmer Ellie Simmonds OBE, award winning fundraiser Caroline Jones, MD of UK & Ireland and Chief Customer Officer at GoCardless, Pat Phelan and the President and General Manager of JustGiving, Pascale Harvie.

This is the twelfth year of the JustGiving Awards and the judges agreed that this year’s event will be an extremely moving yet truly inspiring evening.  From more than 18,000 nominations, the judges worked hard to shortlist 21 inspiring finalists, three for each of the seven awards categories as well as a special recognition award for someone who has gone above and beyond to raise money for their cause.

Pascale Harvie, President and General Manager at JustGiving said: “By setting up his own charity called Stand Against MND, Sam has become a beacon of strength and inspiration to all of those who have been affected by this cruel disease.

“We are so proud and honoured to have Sam as a finalist at this year’s awards and we cannot wait to celebrate all of his incredible achievements.”

Members of the public now have the opportunity to vote for the fundraisers they want to see crowned for their efforts via the JustGiving website.

The eight winners will be announced at the ceremony which takes place at London’s Roundhouse on the evening of September 18th. Winners will be presented with their official trophy by some of the biggest celebrities and fundraising legends in the UK.

Pat Phelan, MD of UK & Ireland and Chief Customer Officer at GoCardless said: “I’m so pleased to see Sam recognised as a finalist in this year’s GoCardless JustGiving Awards. I was blown away by his dedication to raising money for Stand Against MND and I’m glad that we’re able to shine a light on his efforts.”

*Main image @LondonMarathon Sam with his fabulous support team at the London Marathon.

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