A TRUST fund set up to help a young organ transplant recipient nearly 30 years ago will now assist others needing life-saving treatment.
The original beneficiary of the Samantha Bunce Trust Fund, Samantha Salt, died earlier this month from breast cancer. The mother of three was 38.
Samantha crept into the hearts of The Herald readers in 1986 as Sammie Bunce, a 10-year-old girl in desperate need of a liver transplant.
The readers assisted in raising the R200000 needed for her to undergo a life-saving transplant in the UK.
The money was put into a trust, and the remaining funds – more than R1-million – will now be used to help others with life-threatening illnesses.
Samantha’s husband, Alistair Salt, said: “It’s awesome to know she is still able to help. I’ve seen how PE can come together and I hope they will do the same when it comes to this trust fund, because it really will make a difference in many lives.”
Lions Club International chairman at the time Neil McLaggan said they established the fund to deal with the overwhelming financial response for Samantha and to process the money.
“Initially two members of the club paid for Samantha’s plane ticket to the UK. Then through The Herald and Algoa FM, the publicity brought in the money. The trust was then established with the purpose of essentially keeping Sam alive, paying for all her medical bills related to her liver infection.”
While the fund has not received much cash injection in the last three decades, it has continued to grow.
“Good management has seen the initial amount grow and [the fund] currently stands at R1.3-million available. Since its establishment we have helped several children who suffered from acute liver failure,” he said.
“All that needed to be done was to ask Sam’s permission, which was easy as she always wanted to help.”
Lions Club International constitutional chairman Brian von der Decken said they wanted to continue Samantha’s legacy through the fund.
“The community and businesses are welcome to contribute. The fund avails the money to [people] with a life-threatening disease,” he said.
ýThose wishing to contribute, or apply for funding, can contact Von der Decken on 083-700-8490. – Tremaine van Aardt