London, Apr 16 (efe-epa).- British war veteran Tom Moore, 99, on Thursday raised more than 14 million pounds ($17.4m) for National Health Service Charities having completed 100 laps of his garden.
Captain Tom, who served in World War II, had set out last week to raise 1,000 pounds with 100 laps before his 100th birthday but his efforts have captured the attention of the nation and his campaign went viral.
Moore’s feat was widely shared on social media and he managed to garner over 700,000 backers on his JustGiving page.
Labeled an inspiration, Captain Tom first decided to start raising money for the NHS as a way of saying thanks for the treatment he received for cancer and a broken hip. The charitable act took off as the United Kingdom was locked in efforts to stem the spread of the coronavirus outbreak.
“Thank you so much to everyone who made this morning the most amazing and wonderful experience,” Moore said in a message shared on Twitter when he finished his 100th lap of his garden in Bedfordshire in the south of England.
The veteran’s JustGiving page was so overwhelmed with visitors that it crashed on Thursday afternoon.
Moore is due to celebrate his 100th birthday on 30 April.
He was joined by a guard of honor from soldiers as he completed his final lap.
Originally from Yorkshire, Moore served in Asia during World War II after undergoing officer training and later rose to the rank of captain.
Celebrities and politicians have praised Moore’s charitable efforts.
Formula One racer Lewis Hamilton tweeted: “What a legend! Captain Tom Moore is a total inspiration, raising over £13million for the NHS by walking 100 laps of his garden. I am blown away by his amazing achievement. Congratulations Captain Tom, we could all learn something from you!”
The UK government has also called Captain Tom an “inspiration.”
There are growing calls for Captain Tom to receive a knighthood for his campaign. EFE-EPA