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Buzz News Post > Main Article > 5K every day: brother raises thousands in memory of beloved sister
The Buzz > 5K every day: brother raises thousands in memory of beloved sister

5K every day: brother raises thousands in memory of beloved sister

When Kenny Cooper’s sister died at the age of just 39 following a stroke, he knew he wanted to do something to keep her memory alive and raise awareness of the risk of stroke in young adults.

What he didn’t know is that he’d end up walking 5km every single day in December, walking a total of 155km and raising an incredible £2,500 for Chest Heart & Stroke Scotland.

The 31-year-old, from Motherwell, admits he’s “not the fittest person” around, but he was determined to do something for his late sister Claire McIntyre, of Budhill.

Kenny, a multi-skilled engineer, says: “Claire was a brilliant person and a wonderful big sister. I looked up to her all my life.

“She had battled a few health problems over the years but had powered through and was in a good place. But, in October 2019, she suffered two strokes and sadly passed away after battling on for nearly a week in the ICU at Glasgow Royal Infirmary.

“My nephew Conner, Claire’s son, has been incredible throughout all this. He is developing into such an amazing
young man, and that is all to his mother’s credit. I felt that my sister’s memory should live on, and if I could raise some money for charity and raise awareness of strokes in young adults, then all the better.”

Kenny came up with the idea of walking 5k a day but didn’t tell anyone beforehand of his plans for the December challenge.

He admits: “I’m not the fittest person and certainly not the most outdoorsy, so it seemed like a good thing to do that would test me and I would also get something out of it. My wife Stacey and our French bulldog Dave joined me on a lot of the walks.

“On days I struggled to get out or was tired, I just thought of my sister. Claire would have laughed at the thought of me walking out in the snow and rain!”

Kenny and wife Stacey tackled dark evenings and snowy days during their challenge, which saw them take on a 5K walk every day during December in memory of Claire.

Kenny says the family are very close and, although still devastated by Claire’s loss, they have become even closer. Her son Conner, 21, and their dog Peeps now live with Claire’s mum Maureen.

Friends and family gave Kenny’s daily 5k challenge their full support, and he has been blown away by the amount raised.

“On days I struggled to get out or was tired, I just thought of my sister.”

He says: “I was totally overwhelmed by the donations, and I am grateful for everyone who took the time to give something, especially at Christmas time.

“I think Claire would have been really proud of me and probably a bit embarrassed at the thought of all these people donating for her. She was a brilliant person.”

Lauren Mackenzie, Community & Events Fundraiser at Chest Heart & Stroke Scotland, said: “We want to say a massive thank you to Kenny and everyone who has supported him so far.”

If you’d like to raise funds for Chest Heart & Stroke Scotland in memory of someone special, visit chss.org.uk/fundraising

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