This 11-year-old boy has probably done more to change the world than any other 11-year-old has.
Meet Scott Guerini.
He is not your average 11-year-old. At his young age, he has walked marathons to raise money for Telethon, WA’s annual fundraising event for sick children.
Scott started walking for charity in 2010, when he was four years old, and has since then, raised an astonishing $112,000 and more for Telethon.
“It all started in four-year-old kindy, when I learnt about fundraising.
“It got me thinking about what I could do to help and who I could help. I wanted to help the sick kids and babies, and the hardest thing I could think of doing was walking from my farmhouse in Southern Cross to the town, which was 25km away,” he said.
His parents, Nicole and Gary, were surprised when one day, Scott told them of his plans for charity work, and his determination to pursue it.
“When Scott asked if he could walk to town, we said no,” Nicole recalls. “We said it was too far, it was too hard, he was too little. But he asked every morning for two weeks, until we gave in, thinking he probably wouldn’t make it all the way anyway. But yeah, he surprised everyone!”
Scott explained that he too had to make a sacrifice, but it was all worth it. “It was pretty hard, but I did it in eight hours and 14 minutes, and raised just over $3,000,” he said.
When he turned five, Scott walked the same distance, and again, when he was six, but when he was seven years old, he took it up a notch, and walked 41km.
Since then, it’s been full marathons all the way, with last year, even roping in his then seven-year-old brother, Damien.
Nicole recalled how patient Scott is with his younger brother.
“Scott walked with Damian the whole way, although he slowed Scott down a little. We said to Scott, you can either slow down so that Damien can finish too, or you can speed up and try and beat last year’s time, because that’s always his goal.
“Scott said, ‘That’s okay, I’ll slow down and walk with Damien,’ so they finished together at 12-and-a-half hours,” she said.
Last year, Scott completed his first international walk, when he hiked 82km along the Berg Lake Trail in the Canadian Rockies.
However, walking marathons is just one of Scott’s ways of changing the world. Another is by writing and doing the illustrations for his own book about changing the world, in which proceeds from it will be donated to Telethon. And as if he’s not doing enough good in the world, Scott wants to be a paediatric doctor when he grows up.
Now, Scott speaks publicly about the difference people can make, and has even chatted to Malcolm Turnbull, Julie Bishop and Kerry Stokes. Together with a supportive community and amazing family, Scott is well on his way to changing the world.
This year, to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Telethon, Scott is planning on walking a massive 50kms in Perth, along with his annual marathon, but he is determined to finish it.
“I think about all the babies and the sick kids that I’m helping, and the thought of that keeps me walking.
“I think about walls that I have to get through, and I imagine me kicking them down. That’s the hardness and pain gone,” Scott adds.
“I have to keep going to help the sick kids and babies, and I have to keep kicking the brick walls down.”