Captain Tom Moore set himself a challenge before reaching his 100th birthday on April 30. He wanted to thank the NHS medical staff in England for their “magnificent” help after he was previously hospitalized for a broken hip and skin cancer.
The army vet decided the best way to thank the health service, which like all medical services around the world is trying to cope with the thousands of daily coronavirus patients, was to use his broken hip to the best of its ability. With a walking frame in hand, the nonagenarian set his sights on walking 100 laps of his garden before hitting his impressive 100th birthday.
Each lap is 25 meters — no easy feat for someone who’s had cancer, a broken hip and who is about to become a centenarian. Initially when he started his endeavor on April 8, he hoped to raise £1,000 (approximately $1,250) for NHS Charities Together, according to the BBC. So he was staggered when donations quickly reached £500,000 (around $630,000), saying “I thank the British public from the bottom of my heart. Who would have thought that when I set a target of £1,000 a week ago, it could have reached £500,000?”
But his efforts have obviously struck a chord with many as those donations have continued to climb to a huge £9 million, and there’s no sign of them slowing down.
Walking 10 laps a day, the former army captain is determined to finish his objective of 100 laps in time for his birthday. However, his daughter Hannah shared with The Guardian that he’s likely to achieve his target well ahead of time and stated: “We always knew that he was this incredible gem of a man, but we never had any idea that his story would capture the hearts of the nation.”
Ellie Orton who is head of the NHS Charities Together also shared, “I think I join the rest of the country in being truly inspired and profoundly humbled by Capt. Tom and what he’s achieved.” The money raised will go on well-being packs and rest centers for frontline NHS staff, as well as electronic devices for the sick to communicate with their loved ones.
With so much money raised, Moore could be forgiven for finishing his 100 laps and putting his feet up. However, he’s already thinking of doing another 100 if it helps raise more money. As he said: “Our brave nurses and doctors are frontline in this case … this time our army are in doctors and nurses uniforms and they’re doing a marvelous job.”
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