A grateful brother has crossed the finish line after running 5k every day in 2020 – a whopping 1,825km in total over the course of the year – for Birmingham Children’s Hospital Charity, after his little sister received a life-saving kidney transplant.

On 1 January last year, 17-year-old Ethan Reid, from Acocks Green, laced up his trainers for the first time after setting himself a challenging New Year’s resolution . Having never attempted to run any significant distance in his life, Ethan pledged to run 5k every single day to raise money for Birmingham Children’s Hospital and say thank you for the care his sister Keziah, 12, received there.

When Keziah was just two-years-old, her family were devastated to learn that she had Kidney Failure. Her kidneys weren’t able to filter waste and extra fluid from her blood as they should and so, for the next three years, Keziah had to hook up to a dialysis machine at home every night, so it could filter her blood for her. It felt relentless, but it was what Keziah needed to keep her going. The family's strong religious faith, along with the expert support that they received from hospital staff, helped them to cope.

Then when she was five, Keziah finally underwent the life-changing operation she had been waiting for, and received a new, fully functioning kidney. It was an emotional time for the whole family – happiness and thankfulness that the transplant could go ahead, followed by an anxious wait to see if it had been a success. Her family, including brothers, Ethan, Caleb and Joel, often stayed with her at the hospital and were elated when they heard that her body had accepted the new kidney.

Six years later, Ethan thought back on the time he spent at Birmingham Children’s Hospital with his sister. The incredible treatment Keziah received meant that she could lead a full life, plus the care he and the wider family also received while they were there, had been so important. It was this that inspired him to get out and run to say thank you and ensure future families who find themselves in a similar position, will continue to benefit from this specialist care. He set himself the target of raising £5,000, and that’s exactly what he did. 

Ethan said: “Looking back, saying I’d run 5k every day for a whole year was probably quite ambitious, but after everything Birmingham Children’s Hospital has done for Kez and our family, it was worth it to know in my heart that I’ve done something to contribute and give back.

“Most days I ran in the morning, getting up at 5am to get out before school, which was hard physically and mentally, but seeing the sky as the sun came up and keeping the hospital’s patients in my mind, kept me motivated.”

Miranda Williams, Head of Public Fundraising at Birmingham Children’s Hospital Charity, said: “We’re bowled over by Ethan’s commitment and dedication to his New Year’s Resolution, especially considering the tough year 2020 turned out to be. He raised a phenomenal amount and those funds will go towards helping us do more for all of our sick kids and their families.”

If you would like to donate to Birmingham Children’s Hospital Charity you can do so here.