Student runs 100km to raise money for New Zealand’s only child with Barth syndrome

·1-min read
Photo credit: SOPA Images - Getty Images
Photo credit: SOPA Images - Getty Images

When student Richard Turpie heard about 5-year-old Chase Porter, he knew straight away he had to do something to help. Chase is the only person in New Zealand with Barth syndrome, a rare genetic condition that causes heart failure, and as a result he requires a heart transplant. It means that Chase's heart function is only at 24 percent of what it should be.

Richard, a 22-year-old Canterbury University student who's never run a marathon before, set a target of raising $30,000 by running 100km via a 5.8km loop around Hagley Park in Christchurch. On the day of the ultra-marathon, Chase and his family flew down from Hamilton to cheer Richard on. They had never met, so when they arrived at the 83km mark, it inspired and spurred Richard on to finish his challenge.

‘It’s not hard to find motivation when you’re doing it for a cause like this,’ he told Discovery NZ Newshub afterwards. After Richard hit his target he raised it to $40,000, and smashed through that, too.

Chase’s mum, Kelsi, said that her family was overwhelmed by Richard’s kindness. ‘The kindness of strangers has been amazing.’

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