Disabled boy, 6, walks 10 metres a day to raise money for NHS after being inspired by Captain Tom

A young boy with spina bifida has raised more than £60,000 for the NHS by walking 10 metres a day after being inspired by Captain Tom Moore. Frank Mills, six, initially wanted to raise £99 to match Captain Tom’s age, but has since seen that total rocket. He only started walking 18 months ago and struggles with short distances. 

His story went viral after being posted on Facebook, with more and more people donating to the rising sum each day. Mum Janet said Frank, from Victoria Park, Bristol, struck upon the idea four weeks into the lockdown after watching Captain Tom. She said: ‘Frank just said: “I want to do that!”. 

So we grabbed hold of that magic moment of motivation and we took his walker outside for him. [We] chalked out ten metres on the pavement with a start and finish line and two metre “you can do it!” markers.

‘Frank’s enthusiasm was not just surprising but invigorating and as he shouted at one of our neighbours to sponsor him, we thought why not? Maybe we could get some friends and family to support Frank. ‘We quickly put something up on JustGiving and shared the link on Facebook, and from that moment it took off! We cannot believe how people are responding.

As well as having spina bifida, brave Frank was born extremely prematurely – at just under 25 weeks – and spent nearly five months in hospital. Janet and dad Tony say they are extremely grateful for the work of the NHS with their son – hailing their ‘amazing care and decidation’.

The family now want to show their enormous gratitude to the service by supporting its charities. Tony said: ‘We have called this challenge Frank’s Finish Line Fundraiser! ‘At a time of great national anxiety, Captain Tom has given us a really good news story when we desperately needed one, especially inspiring our little lad Frank. ‘
Like a lot of people, we have responded to Tom because he’s simply done what he could and is supporting a great cause, so dear to our nation’s hearts at this crazy time.

 ‘So many friends and neighbours have encouraged Frank, it’s been incredible! Folk have been so generous, especially at a time when people are struggling financially. ‘We would like to thank everyone who has supported Frank from the bottom of our hearts. It restores your faith in humanity.’

 The money will go to NHS Charities Together – an umbrella organisation that supports health service charities. Spina bifida is a condition where a baby’s spine does not develop properly in the womb.

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