A series of fortuitous events turned an 11-year-old boy into an unconditional hero, after a dying man gave him a tent.
Last year, just before the pandemic hit the UK, Max Woosey’s parents were helping care for a neighbor, Rick Abbott, who had terminal cancer.
They came to appreciate how important it was that the local hospice in North Devon be able to help their neighbor stay in his own home, which was his dying wish.
Just before he died, Abbott gave Max a gift.
“My friend Rick gave me his tent before he died and made me promise to go on an adventure.”
Max realized that most of the fundraising for the hospice was canceled and services were closed due to COVID-19, so on March 29, 2020, he began sleeping in his new tent at the backyard, hoping to raise £ 100 for the hospice.
Wearing his stuffed animals to keep him comfortable, he posted updates on his fundraising page, while he waited for the pandemic to end.
As the confinement restrictions lengthened and the warm summer nights turned to fall frosts, Max refused to return from the cold and donations poured.
On October 12, he wrote: “Thank you so much for all the donations. I can’t believe how much I have raised. I have decided to camp for a year to see if I can make it to £ 20,000. “
The boy exceeded that goal, reaching milestones of 100 consecutive days, then 200 days, then 300 days.
His dog Digby was more than welcome to stay overnight and keep this Cub Scout warm at night.
During a December storm, his tent blew up but he reassembled it so he could cross off another day on his calendar. His father kept him company during Storm Bella and its 70 mph winds.
He even had to get a new tent when the first one got away.
When the holiday season rolled around, the family decorated their tent with lights and Santa decorations. Sleeping outside, maybe he was hoping to see the boy in the red suit when his sleigh passed by.
Max’s mission attracted national and international media attention and he was invited to camp next to the lion’s enclosure at London Zoo and Downing Street Garden, according to The Guardian.
Last week, the Braunton boy celebrated his 500th consecutive night in an adventure that was fueled by tragedy but raised more than $ 770,000 from strangers around the world for life-giving hospice service.
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