An 11-year-old double leg amputee is paying tribute to her “real-life hero” Cpt Sir Tom Moore by walking an entire marathon in her garden in his memory.
Last year Maisie Catt, who lost her legs to meningitis and septicemia, followed in the veteran’s heroic footsteps by walking 26 miles in her garden over the course of ten days.
The schoolgirl will now do it all over again in tribute to national hero Cpt Sir Tom, who died from coronavirus on Tuesday after raising more than £30million for NHS charities.
Masie is to walk a second marathon to raise money for charity YoungMinds to coincide with Children’s Mental Health Week which runs between February 1 and 7.
She said: “I think Cpt Sir Tom was a good, kind man that inspired lots and lots of people including me and he was a real-life hero.
“When I first saw him walking with his frame, I thought I used to walk with a frame and he was nearly 100 so he really inspired and motivated me to do something good too.
“I was very sad when I found out he had died I felt I needed to do something good in his memory – it had to be another walk.
“I’m doing it for Young Minds as this week is also Children’s Mental Health Week, I think he’d be happy I chose this.”
Masie added: “I hope it doesn’t snow again or I’ll have to do more on the treadmill and it’s a bit boring on the treadmill it seems to take forever.”
Maisie had to have her legs amputated as a baby – one above the knee and one below – due to her blood being poisoned by septicaemia.
She wore prosthetic legs until she was seven years old when funding became available for blades through the NHS. Since then her confidence has skyrocketed.
As well as enjoying walking challenges Maisie, from Mirfield, West Yorks., is hugely talented at taekwondo and likes to go swimming.
Last April, aged 10, she undertook a brave 26-mile walking challenge having been inspired by the efforts of Cpt Sir Tom, who initially pledged to raise £1,000 by his 100th birthday.
Maisie ended up smashing her £260 target and went on to accumulate a whopping £10,000 for LimbPower, a charity which helps amputees reach their sporting potential.
Mum Sharon Hartley said she is “so proud” of her “determined” daughter, who has never let her disability “get in the way” of her doing what she wants.
She added: “When Maisie heard about the passing of Cpt Sir Tom she said it was really sad and that she wanted to do something in his memory.
“I thought it was a good idea but we’re in a lockdown and she’s busy with school, then she said she wanted to do the 26-mile challenge.
“I thought wow, go for it.”
Sharon said: “I think it’s lovely that Maisie has been inspired by his memory.
“She’s only 11 so you might not think it would be at the forefront of her mind, but obviously it was.
“I’m really proud of her.”
Capt Sir Tom Moore died with coronavirus in Bedford Hospital on Tuesday, aged 100.
His daughters, Hannah Ingram-Moore and Lucy Teixeira said the last year of their father’s life had been “nothing short of remarkable”.
He was knighted by the Queen in July in a special ceremony at Windsor Castle and received an England cricket cap on his 100th birthday.
Donate to Masie’s cause here: https://www.justgiving.com/Maisie-Catt