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Nate sets 12 tasks in friend's memory.

Byline: Report by Rob Smith

A DETERMINED eight-yearold is raising thousands of pounds in memory of his close friend.

Nate Pakeman, from Loggerheads, near Market Drayton, set out to complete 12 feats after friend Tobi Weir fell ill with eosinophilia, a condition affecting his blood cells.

He would visit Tobi, of Market Drayton, in the Birmingham Children's Hospital often, and late last year Nate, who attends St Mary's Church of England in Mucklestone, decided to set himself 12 charity challenges to support the doctors helping his friend.

He came up with one challenge for each of the months Tobi spent in hospital, all to raise money for the Birmingham Children's Hospital Charity.

Nate was partway through his first challenge, walking 100 miles, in January when Tobi died of complications from the illness. Nate's mother Lauren said tragedy had only made him more determined to raise money for the hospital. She said: "We met Tobi Weir when Nate was a week old at a baby group and they became instant friends.

"Tobi fell ill in December 2017 with cold and flu-like symptoms that wouldn't shift, and in January 2018 was taken to hospital for tests.

"They found his eosinophils ( a type of white blood cell) were extraordinarily high and began to try to find the cause. He had over 100 tests and nothing showed up. In the meantime the eosinophils began attacking his own body, causing damage to his lungs. In October 2018, he went rapidly downhill and was put onto life support. He had various medications but nothing worked. He began making a recovery over Christmas 2018, when Nate spoke with him and told him he was going to raise money for the hospital.

"When Tobi went onto life support Nate didn't see him for weeks. He was in an induced coma. When Tobi was woken up Nate went to see him and put on a very brave face. Nate left the room and completely broke down.

"Unfortunately Tobi's condition deteriorated again and on January 19 he passed away." Nate's latest challenge was to kayak five miles at Rudyard Lake in Staffordshire, after climbing the height of the Shard in London, scaling Mount Snowdon.

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Publication:Shropshire Star (Shropshire, England)
Date:Jul 5, 2019
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