A GRANDFATHER from Chester is preparing to travel along Route 66 in America in a classic Ford Mustang in a bid to raise £25,000 for charity.
Les Durrant, his wife Therese and grandson Daniel Jones, will make the trip in aid of Parkinson’s UK, the MS Support Centre in Saltney and the Michael J Fox Foundation.
He hopes to raise the large amount of money after being diagnosed with Parkinson’s five years ago at the age of 53.
Mr Durrant said: “Last year my wife and I toured around Europe in my 40-year-old Ford Escort, visiting 14 countries in 14 days and raised more than £12,000 for Parkinson’s charities.
“This year we’re hiring a 1974 Ford Mustang Mach 1 to drive along the historic Route 66.
“We have also added a new team member this year, my 11-year- old grandson, Daniel.
“We begin on August 3 in Boston and finish on August 17 in LA. This is likely to be the last event we do as the fatigue, caused by my condition, increases.”
He added: “Parkinson’s doesn’t just affect the sufferer. It has a massive impact on family, friends and colleagues too.
“Prior to noticing symptoms, I was a confident person who thrived on being the centre of attention. This started to change and I found myself having complete lack of confidence in my ability. Apart from the visible symptoms, I have significant fatigue and pain in my joints.
“If this cash contributes to a breakthrough in finding a cure for this debilitating disease, that would be fantastic. Anyone can fall victim to Parkinson’s and we need to find an immediate cure.”
l STAFF from classic car specialist Lancaster Insurance ‘clubbed together’ to raise £275 for customer Mr Durrant.
The fundraising took place at the company’s offices in St Ives, Cambridge, where activities included a Where’s Wally quiz, raffle, 1980’s fancy dress, a ‘bake off’ and Space Invaders and Pacman themed games.
The firm’s car club manager, Andrew Misseldine, said: “Les is a fellow classic car enthusiast, and as soon as we heard what he had planned, we just had to get involved. It’s such a fantastic cause. The team at Lancaster are so proud to have raised money to help him reach his target and we wish him and his family the best of luck on their road trip.”
To find out more about Les Durrant’s charity road trip or to donate visit www.californiaorbust.co.uk
See full story in the Chester Leader