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Co Down pensioner Maureen Lightbody completes charity walk in time for her 95th birthday

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Maureen Lightbody

Maureen Lightbody

Maureen Lightbody

A Co Down pensioner, inspired by the incredible fundraising achievements of Captain Sir Tom Moore, has completed her own challenge of walking 1,000 paces a day for Macmillan Cancer Support in time for her 95th birthday.

In April Maureen Lightbody set herself the epic target of striding a 'Roman mile' every day around the playing fields near her Groomsport home until she turned 95 on Friday.

Her efforts have raised over £17,000 so far for Macmillan, a charity close to her heart.

Maureen lost her husband George to cancer over 30 years ago and has known many others who have had a cancer experience in their lives.

She wanted to show solidarity with Captain Sir Tom after learning of his efforts raising almost £33m for healthcare staff battling Covid-19.

Like the war veteran, 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 says that she would love "to give everyone a hug" for their donations and encouragement since she started her challenge.

"I've been spurred on by every kindness and I'm so glad that I've been able to raise so much for Macmillan at a time when charities really need our help," she said.

Maureen even received a birthday video message from Captain Tom's family to mark her special day on Friday.

"He gave me the idea and confidence to set my goal so it means a lot," she added.

Despite completing her challenge, Maureen says she is still planning to keep walking each day as it's had such a positive impact on her health.

Macmillan area fundraising manager for NI Tania Bailie said Maureen's energy, enthusiasm and spirit was "inspirational".

Donate online at www.justgiving.com/fundraising/maureenlightbody.

Belfast Telegraph