Beneficiary Case Study: Sam

Beneficiary Case Study: 10
Beneficiary Name: Sam
Muscle Dream Number: 89th, 479th & 490th

Sam (26) was diagnosed with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy (DMD) aged four. An avid nature lover, he had always loved everything to do with nature but was especially fascinated by Ray Mears. He never thought he would ever actually meet him though, until one day back in 2012, his dream became a reality. Little did Sam know that his teacher and parents had secretly been in touch with The Muscle Help Foundation charity with a request to make his Muscle Dream of meeting Ray Mears a reality. The rest as they say is history!

This was at a time when Sam had been struggling to come to terms with DMD and the future, something the charity knows can weigh heavily on sufferers and their families. This is why the charity is committed to delivering exceptional experiences for beneficiaries because the impact of such experiences, really is transformational.

Recalling the build up to meeting Ray, even though he knew nothing about it at the time, Sam says:

“Mum and Dad just told me we were going away for a few days, but they wouldn’t tell me where. My school authorised two days off. They said I had been nominated for something special by one of my old teachers – but I still didn’t know what anyone was talking about!

We travelled to Ashdown Forest, and it was there I was greeted by Michael McGrath from the Muscle Help Foundation charity and the teacher that nominated me.

We all went to a restaurant that evening, and stayed in the most exquisite hotel, but I still didn’t know what was to come the following day. They didn’t give away any clues which made it all that much more exciting and memorable.

The next day, after going off-roading with a member of staff in a specially adapted off-road wheelchair, we reached a clearing in the forest. Little did I know that Ray Mears would be waiting there, with a campfire set up. I was there to spend the day with him in Ashdown Forest! It was a complete surprise and so overwhelming.”

Ray taught Sam some survival techniques as well as how to make bread. Sam even got to learn crate-stacking, where he was able to ‘abseil’ by being hoisted in a specialist sling.

Sam continues:

“This really was a once in a lifetime experience and an opportunity I’ll simply never forget. I have so many fond memories of the day and I’m so grateful to the Muscle Help Foundation charity and Michael in particular, who went above and beyond to make my dream a reality.”

Ensuring the whole family feels the benefits of the charity’s transformational experiences is really important, which is why the MHF ensures the dreams it makes a reality are as special for the whole family as they are for the individual beneficiary.


Sam goes on to say:

“I was accompanied on this epic adventure by Andrew, my younger brother (pictured below), along with mum and dad. Andrew has always been involved and made to feel part of the ‘Muscle Warriors’ family (thanks to the charity), and that’s one thing I love about the charity, not only do they recognise the struggles that individuals with Muscular Dystrophy face, but they also think about those closest to us and how the condition affects the whole family. So, not only was this a day for me to remember, but it was a day that he’ll never forget either.

This why the work of the charity is so important. It supports the whole family. You are always made to feel so welcome, so involved, and so happy. Michael has become a life-long friend and I admire the work he does; over the past ten years he’s seen me progress and grow into the adult I am today.”



Recently, Sam got married to Katie and the charity continues to support them both. Sam says:

“Already there have been multiple occasions where Katie has turned to the charity for support, and we have both attended some of the charity’s events, most recently its Hello Hampshire event hosted at Naomi House & Jacks Place Hospice. Whenever we attend MHF events, it gives us the opportunity to meet new people, catch up with old friends, and we always leave with a smile on our faces.”



Sam concludes by saying:

“The reality of our lives and the cards we’ve been dealt aren’t the best by any means, but it’s the charity-organised events from the Muscle Help Foundation that give us hope, friendship and memories to last a lifetime.

I am very fortunate enough to have recently been granted another Muscle Dream which saw my wife Katie and I wheel on board a Wetwheels accessible powerboat at Mercury Harbour (Hamble), experiencing the Solent and the beautiful Beaulieu River.

Michael has certainly gone above and beyond for both my family as well as myself over the years. I would be lost without the MHF, and we hope to help the charity in making a difference; just like it always has done for me for the past 12 years.

Sharing my story is one way of helping the charity and demonstrating the positive impact it has on the lives of people living with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy (DMD). I am testament to that.”

Read more about Sam’s unique Muscle Dream HERE.

Check out Sam’s dedicated online Flickr Photo Album HERE.

Contact the charity HERE should you have any further questions.



We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website.