An eight-year-old student in Qatar is hoping to run 100 miles in 100 days to raise funds to buy toys for children undergoing cancer treatment at Hamad General Hospital.
Just over a week into his endeavor, Finn Froud, who is in Year 4 in Doha College’s Al Waab campus, has already raised more than QR10,000 (GBP1,950) – far exceeding his initial target of GBP 300 (~QR1,600) according to his online fundraising page. Donations are still coming in.
To avoid the worst of the heat, Finn gets up early to run at 5:30am before school, or does his runs later in the afternoons. He has been joined by friends, family, his teachers and supporters from organizations across Qatar as he attempts to keep the challenge going.
His appeal has also given him a chance to explore Doha, as he runs past the state mosque, around Aspire Park and at the Doha Rugby Club, as well as various compounds since he began the challenge on May 14.
Speaking to Doha News, Finn said he was inspired to take up the feat after several family members and friends were affected by cancer.
“Some people in my family had cancer and my cousin had leukemia. I wanted to do something to help them,” he explained, continuing:
“When my cousin was in hospital in Scotland, he had lots of toys to play with, but I heard that children in hospital in Qatar don’t have too many. So I thought I would raise money to buy them some, to cheer them up.”
As he enjoyed running, he decided to make that the challenge.
“I don’t get tired, I like it,” he added.
Finn will run 50 miles in Qatar, before taking his challenge on a six-week family holiday to the US, where he will continue running every day in New York, Charlotte in North Carolina, the Florida Keys and Orlando.
His last six miles will take place in Scotland, as he aims to complete his feat in the border town of Hawick on Aug. 21.
Mirroring his adventures is Finn’s cousin Callum Murray, 11, a cancer survivor who is doing the same challenge by running for 100 miles each day in Scotland. The two will finish their final mile together.
Finn’s father, Gary Froud, said his son had always been interested in raising money for charity, and had been inspired to support young cancer sufferers after his cousin successfully went through his own treatment.
“His family is very proud of him. We haven’t pushed him at all to do any of this – it’s been entirely driven by Finn.
When people hear what he is doing, they say ‘wow – what a great thing for an eight-year-old boy to be doing’. They are impressed by his generosity and thoughtfulness,” he added.
Finn is joined by his parents on some of the runs, as well as his 10-year-old brother Seamus, who is also taking photographs of the challenge.
However, it is his friends and fellow students who have been particularly supportive. One schoolmate declined any presents for his upcoming birthday, instead asking guests to donate to the charity appeal, Finn said.
“They think what I am doing is pretty cool,” he added.
To make a donation, visit Finn’s You Caring page here.