A five-year-old with two prosthetic legs has raised more than £1 million for charity after challenging himself to walk 10 kilometres in June.
Tony Hudgell, from West Malling in Kent, had to have both his legs amputated in 2017 as a result of abuse suffered at the hands of his birth parents.
He set himself the challenge of tackling 10km by walking every day in the month of June after receiving his first prosthetics earlier this year, with the aim of raising £500 for the hospital where he was treated, Evelina London.
Now Tony has passed his distance target four days early – and raised more than £1 million after receiving backing from the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and a host of other high-profile supporters.
Tony’s adoptive mother, Paula Hudgell, said: “I am speechless. The generosity of those who’ve got behind Tony is truly amazing.
“We are so proud of Tony for doing so well with his walking, while helping to make a difference to the lives of other children who need the care of Evelina London.
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#GoTonyGo! We are so proud of the incredible courage and determination shown by Tony Hudgell, who is aiming to complete a 10km walk to raise funds for Evelina London Children’s Hospital, of which The Duchess of Cambridge is Patron. Tony suffered injuries as a baby which meant that he had to have both of his legs amputated in 2017. Having received his first pair of prosthetic legs earlier this year, Tony vowed to walk 10km throughout June. Visit @tony_hudgell_bears_journey to find out more about Tony’s journey, inspired by Captain Tom Moore, to raise funds and thank the hospital who have cared for him since he was a baby. Photo © David Tett photography
“Tony is over the moon to have raised so much money. It feels wonderful to give back to a place that is so special to us. Evelina London is like a second home for Tony and the staff are like family.”
In their message, William and Kate said they were “so proud of the incredible courage and determination” Tony showed in his challenge.
Other figures lending their support included David Walliams, David Cameron, Alesha Dixon and Susanna Reid – as well as Captain Sir Tom Moore, whose own fundraising exploits were an inspiration to Tony.
In a video, Sir Tom, 100, said: “Well done Tony, haven’t you done well.”
Following in the footsteps of @captaintommoore, Tony pledged to walk 10km for Evelina London, raising over Â£1,000,000, so far.— Evelina London (@EvelinaLondon) June 26, 2020
His story is so heartwarming that his inspiration, Captain Tom, got in touch to cheer him on.
📣 #GoTonyGo @paula_hudgell pic.twitter.com/tFS9YxyKBQ
Tony’s fundraising efforts have also been highlighted on a giant electronic billboard at Piccadilly Circus in London.
To donate, go to justgiving.com/fundraising/tonys-10k-walk