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99-Year-Old Veteran Raises $11 Million (And Counting) For Health Service By Getting His Steps In

Tom Moore will turn 100 on April 30th. He began a challenge last Thursday to raise money for Britain’s National Health Service (NHS) by walking 10 laps each day in his garden, in Bedfordshire, northern England.

Moore had hoped to raise £1,000 ($1,257) by his 100th birthday, but within 24 hours of beginning the challenge, donations had already exceeded his goal and still continue to stack up.

The British war veteran, known as Captain Tom, has at the time of writing raised nearly £9 million (over $11 million) from over 45,000 donors.

The money will go to NHS Charities Together, a fundraising organization that supports UK hospitals and hospital staff, volunteers, and patients affected by the coronavirus pandemic.

Moore served in the British Army during World War II in India, Indonesia, and Britain. He’d previously trained as a civil engineer and became the managing director of a concrete manufacturer after the war.

The veteran has been impressed and deeply grateful for the care he’s received from NHS healthcare workers over the course of his lifetime, including during his battle with cancer.

“When you think of who it is all for—all those brave and super doctors and nurses we have got—I think they deserve every penny, and I hope we get some more for them too,” Moore told the BBC.

via BBC

After a recent partial hip replacement, Moore’s daughter, Hannah Ingram-Moore, encouraged her father to turn his daily exercises into a challenge that could help raise funds.

His grandson, Benji (16), created a Twitter account so his grandfather could keep in touch with donors and fans.

Ingram-Moore says, “We set it up on April 8 and we’ve been explaining where the followers are and he’s been reading Twitter every day.”

Moore now has more than 48,000 followers, and she said her father was “floored” by the donations.

According to Ingram-Moore, he “is just so impressed and grateful to the British public for their generosity.”

NHS Charities Together thanks Moore for his act of generosity that “truly inspired and humbled” the organization. The charity’s chief executive, Ellie Orton said: “I think I absolutely join the rest of the country in being truly inspired and profoundly humbled by Captain Tom and what he has achieved.”

“Thank you for being an inspiration and a role model.”

Captain Tom doesn’t plan on slowing down. He says he hopes to do another 100 laps.

As if the money isn’t enough, Moore offers some wise advice for this unusual time: “Let’s all carry on and remember that things will get better.”

“We have had problems before—we have overcome them—and we shall all overcome the same thing again.”

Updates and other uplifting content continue to be posted to Moore’s Twitter. If this doesn’t brighten your day, I don’t know what will:

Susan LaMarca

Written by Susan LaMarca