103-year old Belgian doctor takes to marathon walking to raise funds for Covid-19 research

Hemani Sheth Mumbai | Updated on June 10, 2020

A 103-year-old Belgian doctor Alfons Leempoels is walking a marathon around his garden to raise funds for research to find a cure for Covid-19.

Leempoels is walking a marathon in daily stages to raise money for the hospital attached to the University of Leuven, where researchers are working to find a cure for the disease, Reuters reported.

A retired general practitioner, Leempoels aims to walk started his 42.2 km by June 30. He had begun his journey on June 1 and walks 10 laps of 145 metres each day. The 103-year-old doctor throws a stick into a bowl every time he finishes a lap to keep count.

Leempoels said that he was inspired by the 100-year-old British World War Two veteran Tom Moore who had raised millions in funds for the UK’s National Health Service.

Moore had launched a fund-raising campaign on April 11 raising donation online for NHS Charities to help health workers in the country combat the current crisis.

“I’m Captain Tom Moore, war veteran, 99 years of age (soon to be 100) and I’m walking for the NHS to raise money for our heroes,” Captain Tom Moore had posted on his Twitter account.

Moore had aimed to walk a hundred lengths of his back garden which is 25m in length before his hundredth birthday at the end of the month taking 10 laps a day. He had completed his journey days before his birthday. He had raised over £32 million for the NHS and had been awarded knighthood last month, according to a BBC report.

"My children said that I can walk at least as well as Tom Moore and on top of that I am 103 years old," Leempoels told Reuters.

"So they suggested that maybe I should do something. My granddaughter had just run a marathon and as a joke I said: I will run a marathon," he said.

The retired doctor has raised over 6,000 euros so far and has covered about one-third of the distance, as per the report.

Published on June 10, 2020

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