Dad calls in the forces for Bliss-full 100 mile bike ride

Sam Crowther with his daughter Phoebe
Sam Crowther with his daughter Phoebe

The father of a little girl who was gravely ill after being born 13 weeks premature has joined forces with her godmother to raise money for a special care baby charity.

Childhood friends from Halifax and members of the armed forces Sam Crowther and Cait Calvert are taking part in the RideLondon 100 event for the charity Bliss.

Sam and his fiancée Dorigen received support from Bliss after their daughter Phoebe was born 13 weeks early at the Calderdale Royal Hospital.

He said: “Phoebe was born weighing 2lbs 6oz by emergency caesarean section after doctors discovered a harmful blood clot.

“She was very ill and had to stay in the hospital for about three months. It was an incredibly difficult time but she’s been home for around a month now and is doing really well.”

Cait is Phoebe’s godmother, and has known Sam since they went to Whitehill Primary School together.

Following that they attended the Holy Trinity High School and then Huddersfield College, and both got posted to Portsmouth in their respective roles in the armed forces.

Sam is a sailor in the Royal Navy and Cait is a nurse in the Royal Air Force.

They are both training hard for the challenge.

Sam said: “Training is going well, the weather has been nice recently so we’ve been getting out as much as we can.

“I’m a little nervous though, the furthest I’ve ridden so far is about 30 miles!”

RideLondon is a 100 mile cycle around central London taking place on Sunday, August 2.

The event was started by the Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, and is in its third year.

Caroline Davey, chief executive of Bliss, said: “I wish Sam and Cait the best of luck taking on this incredible challenge for Bliss.

“They are part of a team of dedicated cyclists who are raising money and awareness for premature and sick babies. The vital funds they raise will help us improve the lives of babies throughout the UK.”

Bliss is the charity dedicated to ensuring that premature and sick babies have the best possible chances of survival and of reaching their full potential.

They also provide invaluable practical and emotional support to parents during a very difficult and lonely time.

If you would like to sponsor the pair, you can visit Sam’s JustGiving page: