A six-year-old double amputee is going to walk 100 steps without his crutches in memory of Captain Sir Tom Moore.
Tony Hugell, who last year raised more than £1.5 million for the NHS hospital that saved his life, has only ever walked up to six steps unaided before, but will be attempting to achieve 100 steps in honour of his hero.
Who is Tony Hudgell?
Tony made headlines last year after raising more than £1.5 million for Evelina London Children’s Hospital by walking 10km on his new legs and crutches in just 30 days.
He set about the fundraiser after taking inspiration from his hero Captain Sir Tom Moore, who walked 100 laps of his garden to raise funds for the NHS.
Tony originally set out to raise £500 but far surpassed his goal, and was congratulated by Captain Tom via video message on completing his 10km challenge.
Tony had to have both legs amputated in 2017 as a result of abuse suffered at the hands of his birth parents, and had to relearn how to walk on his new prosthetic legs.
The six-year-old was pictured hugging his adoptive parents Paula and Mark Hudgell as he crossed the finish line on 30 June last year, in his home town of West Malling in Kent.
His parents were joined by friends, family, hospital staff, and crowds of supporters who gathered to celebrate his achievement.
Tony also received messages of praise from Prime Minister Boris Johnson, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, and earned a trophy at the Daily Mirror’s Pride of Britain Awards.
What is his new challenge?
Tony is taking on a new challenge this year and is set to walk 100 steps completely unaided in honour of Captain Tom.
The family of the war veteran, who died earlier this year on 2 February and raised almost £33 million for the NHS, are encouraging people to create their own challenge around the number 100 to raise money for a good cause, on what would have been his 101st birthday weekend.
The six-year-old will be walking 100 steps between 30 April and 3 May, with the funds raised to be donated to Evelina London’s Children’s Hospital.
Writing on Tony's fundraising page, his mum Paula said: “Sadly, Tony never got to actually meet Sir Captain Tom before his passing this year.
"There is not a day goes by that Tony does not speak about him still and we are so grateful he encouraged him to walk with his crutches.
"So it seems rather fitting that Tony take on the Captain Tom 100 Challenge. Tony has chosen to take 100 steps unaided between 30th April and 3rd May – the challenge weekend.
"While this may seem like an easy task, Tony’s only managed five or six steps without his crutches before, so this is yet another huge mountain for him to climb."
What will the money be used for?
The money raised by Tony will be used to help support children with similar complex needs across the region, ensuring they receive the best possible care.
Funds will be put towards making sure the environment where they receive care is made special, helping children and families to feel safe and happy, while also helping to fund research, new facilities and cutting-edge technology.
How can I donate?
If you wish to support Tony’s fundraiser, you can make a donation by visiting justgiving.com.