Nathan is a 20 year old student from West Sussex. He was born with a severe bilateral cleft lip and palate and at the age of 16 he set up his own fundraising campaign to do good stuff and raise money for charity Smile Train.
You do loads of good stuff fundraising for Smile Train, what got you started?
I was born born with a severe bilateral cleft lip and palate and I have had over thirty reconstructive surgeries to repair my broken smile. At the age of sixteen I realised that other children around the world may never get the chance to have their smile fixed, that’s when I started fundraising.
You obviously like to swim (Nathan has taken part in major swimming challenges to raise money for charity)! What do you think about when you’re out in the water?
Long distance swimming can be very lonely and painful, it’s as much a mental challenge as it is physical. When it gets tough I remember there are children born like me who may never get to have corrective surgery, I always let that motivate me.
Have you ever had any major problems on a charity swim?
In 2013 I swam 15 miles between Littlehampton Pier to Worthing Pier and back again. I ended up having severe hypothermia – I was only 16! My second challenge wasn’t any easier. I did a 15 mile swim in the River Arun but ended up with river poisoning because of a sewage leak that no one knew about. It took me almost a month to recover.
If you do one good thing today what is it going to be?
Something I do everyday, smile at someone because a smile is the best way to spread happiness in the simplest of ways!