THERE’S nothing mini about this cross-country fundraiser – except for the cars.
Dubbed the American Job, three friends will be driving 10,000 miles around America in three Minis to raise money for Portsmouth youngster Jack Sims, four, who has cerebral palsy.
His parents Jon and Amber Sims set up Jack’s 1st Steps to raise £60,000 to have an operation at St Louis Children’s Hospital in Missouri, that would help him walk unaided.
Alex Charlton, Dudley Brook and Peter Price – friends of Jon’s – will have their cars shipped out to New York in April and then over the course of 30 days drive around America, spanning more than 20 states and possibly into Canadian provinces, before ending their trip in Missouri.
Alex, 29, of Tennyson Crescent, Waterlooville, thought of the idea.
He said: ‘I have been a Mini-lover since I was a young lad and I helped my dad build one.
‘I then grew up and got side-tracked with work and life in general, but last year I started thinking about Minis again.
‘I joked to my two friends about doing a driving challenge, but now it’s become a reality as we want to fundraise for Jack.’
Determined to make sure every penny fundraised goes to the cause, the trio are paying for the trip and expenses themselves.
Dudley said: ‘Every cost from purchasing, maintaining and shipping the cars out, to fuel, flights, accommodation, food and personal expenses have been and will be taken care of out of our own pocket.
‘Every personal donation we receive through Alex’s Justgiving page goes straight to Jack.
‘This whole trip is an adventure for everyone, it will of course be amazing for us to experience it, but for us to do that and get Jack the treatment he needs, that is absolutely our goal.’
Jack, of Wymering Lane, Wymering, needs to have a procedure call selective dorsal rhizotomy.
The aim of SDR is to ease muscle spasticity and improve mobility in people with cerebral palsy.
It involves cutting nerves in the lower spine that are responsible for muscle rigidity.
The NHS does not routinely fund the operation.
To donate, visit justgiving.com/theamericanjob