AN eight-year-old boy from Donaghadee, Co. Down, is set to walk from his hometown in Northern Ireland to Cork City to raise money for Vasculitis UK.
Lucas Fox was inspired to walk the 280 mile journey after his maternal grandfather was diagnosed with vasculitis – a rare autoimmune disorder which causes blood vessels to become inflamed and can lead to chronic symptoms such as fever, aches, and fatigue.
Lucas’s mother, Michaela Fox, told RTÉ that the idea for the walk germinated out of Lucas’s involvement with his Cub Scout group and his desire to earn badges by doing something with a lasting positive impact on the community.
“[Cub Scouts] do their own fundraiser,” Ms Fox said. “But Lucas came home and said: ‘Mummy, I want to do some fundraising.’
“His sister and him came up with the idea of doing it for Vasculitis UK because my Dad has vasculitis... I don't know where the million steps came from, but it just kind of evolved.
“I’m completely amazed by his commitment.”
Ms Fox is undertaking the challenge with Lucas, both of whom have thus far averaged an incredible 20,000 steps per day, with a current total step count of 550,000.
Lucas’s initiative has inspired the local community in Donaghadee to raise over £850 via GoFundMe, something which his mother Michaela says took them both by surprise.
One anonymous donor even contributed a brand new pair of trainers for Lucas to complete his walk.
“The support from our town has been immense... we've been overwhelmed,” she said.
“People are actually asking us to put the routes online and they're driving to find us to hand us cash.”
Lucas, meanwhile, has remained committed to his schoolwork.
“While we walk, Lucas loves to practice his times tables and spellings,” Ms Fox said.
“He has taken every single bit of it in his stride.”