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Coronavirus: Co Down woman Maureen Lightbody (94) bids to follow in Tom Moore's footsteps

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Maureen Lightbody

Maureen Lightbody

Maureen Lightbody

A 94-year-old Co Down woman inspired by the incredible fundraising achievements of Captain Tom Moore has set herself the challenge to stride a 'Roman mile' a day to raise money for Macmillan Cancer Support.

Maureen Lightbody is setting out to walk a thousand paces every day until she celebrates her 95th birthday in July.

Currently isolated in her seaside bungalow, Maureen has followed 99-year-old Captain Tom's progress every single day as he walked 100 laps of his garden to raise money for the NHS.

The war veteran has raised more than £28m for the healthcare staff on the frontline battling coronavirus.

Maureen played her own part in World War Two. At the age of 18, she was a visual signaller with the Wrens, helping to dispatch American ships from Belfast Lough en route to the Normandy beaches.

Maureen will be following stay-at-home advice to complete her challenge, and walking her thousand paces each day around a playing field beside to her bungalow.

She says her challenge is not just a personal one, but also an opportunity to show solidarity with Captain Tom.

"At times like these, it's important that we all do our bit. If my daily 'mile' can do something worthwhile, no matter how small, I will be content," she said.

Maureen lost her husband to cancer in 1987 and has known many others who have had a cancer experience in their lives.

She wants to help Macmillan continue supporting people all over Northern Ireland in the midst of the coronavirus crisis.

"Macmillan's work is more important now than ever," she said.

Maureen's incredible challenge comes as Macmillan reveals that demand for the charity's help has surged because of the impact of the pandemic. Around one in three calls to the Macmillan Support Line recently were from cancer patients concerned about coronavirus.

Tania Bailie, area fundraising manager for Macmillan in Northern Ireland said: "Maureen has set a fantastic goal and we are so grateful that she has chosen to raise money on our behalf during this uncertain time.

"As a charity, Macmillan is almost entirely funded by donations. We need the continued support of people in Northern Ireland to make sure that no one faces cancer alone. Please support Maureen's amazing efforts and donate what you can today!"

So far, Maureen has raised around double her original £1,000 target. Donate online at www.justgiving.com/fundraising/maureenlightbody.

Belfast Telegraph