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Brave Sam aims to raise lots of money

PUBLISHED: 14:31 24 April 2008 | UPDATED: 14:30 14 July 2010

little Sam Wainwright may only be four years old but he is hoping to raise big bucks for a good cause when he takes control of the hammer at an auction in Norwich this weekend.

little Sam Wainwright may only be four years old but he is hoping to raise big bucks for a good cause when he takes control of the hammer at an auction in Norwich this weekend.

Sam, who had a liver transplant when he was two, will be the star auctioneer at the event at Chapelfield shopping centre organised by his grandparents, Sharon and Stan Wainwright, from Wramplingham.

It is the culmination of more than a year's work for the couple, who gave up their business and have devoted their lives to raising funds for the Children's Liver Disease Foundation (CLDF) to thank it for giving vital support to Sam and the whole family.

“We came so close to losing Sam, and when something like that happens it puts life in perspective. Family and health come first before every-thing,” said Mr Wainwright, 56. “Without the research done by CLDF and the skill of the surgeons, Sam would not be here today. CLDF will help save thousands of children's lives in the future, and that is why it is so important we help the charity.”

Sam was only weeks old when his family was told he had a condition in which the bile duct between the liver and the small intestine was blocked or missing.

Mr Wainwright said: “It was terrible. At seven weeks old he had a six-hour operation to make an artificial bile duct for him. That operation kept him alive. But his liver had already been poisoned and in February 2006 Sam also had a 10-hour liver transplant operation.”

Sam, who lives with his parents at Oakham, Leicester-shire, will be on medication for the rest of his life and is in and out of hospital, and yet he lives life to the full.

His grandmother said: “He has beaten every hurdle and is a real fighter.”

The Wainwrights sold their business, which sold car-care products on the shopping channel Ideal World, 18 months ago. Mr Wainwright still sells products on TV for the new owners in return for donations to the foundation, and these have so far reached £40,000.

The couple hope the weekend event will generate £10,000 for CLDF. Ideal World has given about 800 items to sell and Chapelfield has provided a base near the Sony Centre free of charge.

The sale takes place from 10am to 7pm on Saturday and 10am to 5pm on Sunday. It will include lots ranging from toys and jewellery to household goods. More expensive products, including a hot tub and hot-air balloon ride, will be auctioned off on Sunday from noon.

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