Many people would do just about anything to honor the dying wish of a beloved friend or family member.
But to honor the dying wish of an elderly neighbor, a North Devon cub scout took this idea to new lengths, sleeping in a tent in his backyard for more than 200 nights, and raising over 86,000 pounds (US$111,897) for a local hospice center.
Ten-year-old Max Woosey has reportedly been sleeping in a tent in his backyard since the lockdown caused by the pandemic began.
The tent was given to him by Max’s 74-year-old neighbor, Rick. Shortly before dying of cancer, the elderly man told Max to go “have an adventure” in his new tent, a wish that the young boy readily took to heart.
But Max took it a step further than a mere childhood adventure; on March 28, he started a fundraiser for a local hospice.
“I am raising money for the North Devon Hospice,” Max wrote on the crowdfunding page. “They looked after our friend and enabled him to pass peacefully at home with those closest to him which was his final wish.”
The fundraiser has been such a success, raising over 86,000 pounds so far. So, Max has decided to extend the challenge to a full year, aiming to hit 365 days sleeping in a tent outside.
“I sometimes get a bit freaked out when it’s stormy weather, but I wouldn’t say I get scared,” Max told the BBC, adding that the best part of the adventure is escaping his parents.
Max’s mother, Rachel Woosey, was supportive but says it’s been a challenge for her, too.
“I absolutely hated it at first as you’re just used to having them close by and checking on them. So I found that really strange,” mom Rachael Woosey told People.
She added that as a parent, it’s difficult to sleep through storms knowing that her son is outside in the backyard alone. But after more than 200 days, the family has acclimated.
“We’ve now decided that we’re going to embrace it. It’s kind of ‘Okay, you can do a year!’” she said. “The main problem is going to say goodnight to him, as you have to put on a coat and shoes and go out in the rain rather than pop upstairs!”
Stephen Roberts, chief executive of North Devon Hospice, thanked Max, saying the center has been hit hard by the pandemic, and the fundraiser “could not come at a better time.”
Donations are still pouring in, with contributors commenting that Max’s “spirit of adventure and determination” is an “inspiration.”
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