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Press Releases 19 May 2021

Northern Ireland man celebrates 50th birthday with 50-day gruelling charity challenge

Iain McAfee is celebrating turning 50 by fundraising for injured and limbless military veterans. 

Iain will turn 50 on 29th May, and after coming across armed forces charity Blesma, The Limbless Veterans through his work, he was inspired to raise funds for the cause. 

Inspiration for his milestone celebrations came from his habit of daily lockdown walks to support both his physical and mental health and he is hoping to raise £500 for the injured veteran's charity. 

Iain, who lives Ballymoney, said: “Each day I will be walking an average of five miles and completing 100 press-ups. By the end of the 50-day challenge, I will have walked 250 miles and have completed 5,000 press-ups.  

“I’m already a lot of fitter than I was when I started, but four days into the challenge, I was really feeling it in my shoulders. I was waking up feeling lethargic and tired but compared to the daily experiences the veterans and families I’m supporting go through, this is nothing. 

“I do have knee problems and I used to run, but I can’t anymore because the cartilages are all gone. Walking is the most I can do, but my struggles are nothing compared to losing a limb or the loss of use of a limb.” 

Along the way to completing the challenge, Iain will be joined by several injured veterans, thanks to the support he has had from Blesma’s Outreach Officer in Northern Ireland, Fiona Morrison who has helped rally support around Iain. 

“Blesma’s message of enabling limbless veterans to lead independent and fulfilling lives is quite powerful to me. The veterans they support, along with their families, have been through a lot and Blesma keeps them upbeat. I’ve never once heard a moan. The fact the veterans are prepared to come out, stick to restrictions and support me makes me very happy, too. It’s a great opportunity to meet and hear the stories of those the charity help.” 

Donations to Iain’s 50th birthday fundraiser can be made here -


Notes to Editor

Hi-res images can be downloaded from the links below:

Iain -
Iain and Blesma Member Graham Kelly -
Iain and Blesma Member Bryan Phillips -