DENVER — He’ll run 50 miles on mountain trails, but said that endurance is nothing compared to that of children fighting cancer.
Nick Peret, 26, ran his first race — a marathon — in 2014, but this year, decided he wanted a purpose to his running. He hoped to somehow marry the sport with creating a positive impact on his community in Denver. That’s when he found Daniel’s Care Van, a local nonprofit that drives children with life-threatening illnesses and their families to doctor appointments if they don’t have transportation.
“Some days you have those days where you complain about your problems and stuff like that,” Peret said. “It’s kind of pathetic sometimes because then you think of these kids that are literally fighting for their lives.”
He signed up for the Sheep Mountain 50-Mile Endurance Race in Fairplay in August — which features 10,000 feet of elevation gain — and started spreading the word that he was running the race to raise awareness and funds for the cause.
The founder of Daniel’s Care Van, Jeri Jones, lost her 3-and-a-half-year-old son, Daniel, to leukemia. Her son endured treatment for nine months before he died. After his death, she started the nonprofit and now provides transportation five days a week, all supported on donations.
“Many of the families we drive have been riding with us for two and a half to three years — since the beginning of their treatment,” Jones said.
All funds that Peret raises will go to the nonprofit’s Transporting the Brave Fund, she said, and will cover fuel, insurance, pay for drivers and car maintenance.
“Think about doing an eight-hour day when you’re that little at a hospital and then having to take a bus ride home,” Peret said. “It’s pretty brutal… That’s the real endurance. Yeah, I’m dragging through this one run, but these kids are doing this all the time.”
During tough training runs, he thinks about the kids he’s raising money to help, he said.
“Not matter what you’re doing, when it gets tough, having some sort of purpose makes anything in life so much easier,” he said. “Think about any time you struggle, and it just makes it a little bit easier to get it done and make sure you’re not quitting.”
He said he hopes to raise between $3,000 and $5,000 for Daniel’s Care Van.