On 6 January 2018, Nathan Pereira set himself the herculean task of running 5km every day for an entire year. 12 months on and the 21 year old from Maidstone in Kent has completed the challenge. As well as raising over an amazing £3,650 for Heart of Kent Hospice – beating his own target of £1,825 – Nathan has achieved something extraordinary to mark the 5th anniversary of the death of his mum, Kate.
Nathan had just turned 15 when he lost his mum to cancer. One of six children, Nathan’s family were all actively involved in sport and on the day his mum died, Nathan spent the afternoon playing a game of football. It seemed the most natural and appropriate way for the teenager to take his mind off what he was going through: “I have always played sport from a young age, and there was no better feeling than playing well in front of my mum and dad and making them proud. Playing football that afternoon felt like the right thing to do and I wouldn’t change it for the world.”
With sport playing such an important part in Nathan’s life, a sporting challenge seemed like a fitting way to mark his mum’s death. Nathan threw himself into the challenge, running wherever he happened to be in the world, and whatever the weather, from a cruise ship in the Caribbean to an icy winter in the UK.
Nathan’s final run started out from Heart of Kent Hospice in Aylesford, where his mum and family received the care and support of the dedicated Heart of Kent Hospice team. His run ended at the Kent Fire Rescue Service HQ in Tovil: “Sport has a special place in my heart and so does my mum. This challenge, and raising money for Heart of Kent Hospice, has been the best way I could commemorate her.”
Throughout his 365 day mission, Nathan encouraged others to take part in sport and threw down his own challenge, offering to donate £2 for every person who committed to running 5km a week for a year. He’s delighted that some people have taken up his challenge and hopes they will continue on after their year is over. To find out more about Nathan and his own challenge, visit https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/nathan-pereira