A British 11-year old will walk 26 miles to save other children's hearts

Amelie's goal: 60,000 steps for 60,000 heartbeats.

Amelie Anderson (photo credit: Courtesy)
Amelie Anderson
(photo credit: Courtesy)
Restrictions imposed by COVID-19 in England didn't discourage 11-year-old Amelie Anderson, of Richmond, Surrey, from undertaking a sponsored 60,000-step walk over two days along the Thames tow-path, from Hampton Court Palace to Tower Bridge.
The 60,000-step walk of 26 miles (42km) is the length of a full marathon and will benefit the Save A Child's Heart charity in Israel. Her campaign is part of a special project on tzedakah and tikkun olam she has been working on in the run-up to her Bat Mitzvah with her aunt who lives in Israel.
"The heart of a healthy 12-year-old girl [Bat Mitzvah age] beats approximately 60,000 times every 12 hours," explains Amelie, who will be celebrating her Bat Mitzvah next summer. "My goal is to walk 60,000 steps to raise $15,000 (£11,500) to enable a child from a developing country to undergo life-saving heart surgery in Israel."
"I wanted to do something meaningful to mark my Bat Mitzvah, that will make a positive difference in other children's lives," says Amelie.
Amelie's goal of $15,000 covers all medical care, as well as travel and accommodation for the child and a family member during the child's stay at Save A Child's Heart in Israel.
"I heard about the work of Save A Child's Heart, and how they bring children with heart problems from developing countries around the world to Israel and give them an operation that they wouldn't have been able to receive in their home country, to help them live with a healthy heart. I think that's amazing!"
Amelie corresponded with 13-year old Abay from Ethiopia, who recently underwent successful heart surgery with Save A Child's Heart. 
"We discovered that we both enjoy Math," said Amelie, relating how, thanks to her surgery, Abay now looks forward to pursuing her dream of one day becoming a teacher.  
Amelie is the daughter of Dr. Chloe Zeffert-Anderson and Robert Anderson of Richmond, who are both members of Richmond Synagogue.
"Despite the unprecedented challenges we are facing as a result of COVID-19, we shouldn't forget the millions of children around the world who are suffering from life-threatening conditions, and who need urgent help," declared Zeffert-Anderson, Amelie's mum. 
"I am so proud that Amelie is marking this special milestone in her life by doing something to make such a profound difference to the life of another child and [the child's] family."

Israeli-British psychic and TV personality Uri Geller heard about Amelie's campaign and has gifted a collection of lithographs which will be awarded to the person who makes the highest donation to her campaign by December 31, 2020. Geller created the collection with Cypriot artist Andreas Charalambides. 
So far, Amelie has raised over £5,000 [$6,500] among family and friends. "But we still have a long way to go," Amelie said. "I really hope that with people's support, I can reach my goal."