August 25, 2022 7.00 am This story is over 22 months old

Terminally ill Lincoln teacher smashes fundraising target for her children

The much-loved teacher is raising the sum for her children

A St Barnabas Hospice patient and mother of two from Newton on Trent, near Lincoln, who has been diagnosed with terminal cancer, has smashed her fund-raising target.

Sam Pickersgill, 47, mother to Hattie, 14, and Dominic, 10, set up her GoFundMe page on Friday August 19 aiming to raise £1,000 to give her children great memories to treasure once she is gone.

A much-loved secondary school teacher, she has inspired thousands in her community through her work, and has in total now raised £4,576.

You can donate to her GoFundMe page here.

Sam was diagnosed with breast cancer in July 2020, for which she received treatment.

In December 2021, following a kick to the head from a horse after what would be her last family holiday with the children, she was brought in for a brain scan.

This revealed that the cancer had spread to the fluid that surrounds her brain, significantly lowering her life expectancy.

Sam took a turn and found herself in hospital, and after an MRI scan it was discovered it had spread further and no more could be done, leaving her with, what was thought, just days to live.

Three weeks passed, enabling Sam to create the GoFundMe page, despite her condition deteriorating.

She can no longer walk and her ability to swallow is going, however she says despite conversations being “confusing at times” she can still give visitors short responses and “always a little smile”.

Sam says her children are at impressionable and vulnerable ages to deal with the life’s obstacles.

A schoolteacher herself, Sam knows that it will be extremely hard for Hattie to take her GCSEs, and for Dominic to start secondary school for the first time.

She says: “I never imagined I wouldn’t be there for these major events in my children’s lives.

“My original wish was for us all to go to Disneyland Paris as I have such fond memories of going there as child – this is now an impossible trip for me.

Sam and her former student, Carly Young. | Photo: St Barnabas/Sam Pickersgill

“So instead, I would love to give them something to look forward to, whether it is something horse-related for Hattie, or football-related for Dom or a getaway for the three of them (Ro, the father and husband) – just something to make the world seem far less cruel for them.”

There have been offers from organisations and individuals to give Sam and her family a getaway holiday, as well as local equestrian centres offering Sam’s horse-obsessed daughter, Hattie, riding lessons.

St Barnabas Hospice is also hoping to find an organisation that can help provide Dominic with a football experience.

Many of the people who have donated on her GoFundMe page or have offered support via social media remember her fondly from their school days.

Former student Carly Young shares some memories of having Sam as a teacher: “In 2017 I moved schools to attend the Priory Witham Academy, where Sam was my Head of Year.

“We bonded from the get-go and Sam made me believe in myself.

“I have so many great memories from school with Sam – my favourite has to be on sports day when I ran the 100m for my tutor group.

“Sam was at the finish line shouting my name and as I ran I just wanted to make her proud.

“For coming first place, Sam gave me a big hug and told me how proud she was of me.

“She even took time to write a reference for my university application, and bearing in mind it was the Christmas holidays she did it for me during her time off!

“I’m now going to be attending university to study mental health in September and that is all because of her showing me how to believe in myself.

“She wasn’t just my teacher, she saved my life and I wouldn’t be where I am today without her. Sam, I’ll always look at the moon for you.”

Sam ends her page with the simple warning: “If nothing else – please remember to check your boobies.”

Additionally, if you would like to support us to find ways to treat Dominic with anything football or Real Madrid related, please get in touch with St Barnabas Hospice via 01522 540 300 or by emailing [email protected].