There’s a little boy named Jack. Jack seems like the usual kooky happy four year old, but there’s one big issue — Jack has spastic diplegia cerebral palsy. Jack’s had a great deal of physical difficulties and can’t walk, at least not yet. There is a surgery that could help, and to get that surgery, three guys are driving 4,000 miles in old Minis. I’ll explain.
See, Jack is in the UK, and the only place that does the kind of surgery he needs — Selective Dorsal Rhizotomy surgery, for those of you in the know — is at a hospital in St.Louis, MO. Of course, this surgery, and the resulting therapy and equipment needed aren’t cheap, so to raise money for Jack, three of Jack’s parents’ friends are taking a trio of vintage, beater Minis on a 4,000 mile drive across the US.
The three generous (and likely fume-deranged from leaky SU carbs) drivers of the Minis are Alex Charlton, Peter Price, and Dudley ‘el Dispatchio’ Brook.
The Minis are red, white, and blue, to cover both US and UK chromatic patriotic needs, and what they’re doing is sort of like what went on in the Italian Job with Minis, just with less gold, gangsters, or indoor-outdoor car chases. That’s why they call their journey the American Job.
The Mini tour to raise money and awareness is being funded by other means, so all money pledged goes directly to Jack’s surgery fund.
The three Minis are by no means pristine, so this voyage won’t be easy on those little A-series engines. They started out the trip by being stuck in their shipping container thanks to the usual customs nightmares, but they’re on the road now, and you can find exactly where here.
Based on what I’ve seen on their Facebook page, there’s already been some minor breakdowns, but even in the already borderline-unreasonable heat of the day, the three little Minis are still buzzing along.
The trip looks like a blast; I love original Minis, and even without the fantastic reason they’re doing this, a long Mini roadtrip seems like one of the most crampedly fun ways to spend a summer. Based on their Instagram feed, it looks like they’re having a blast, too.
But, they do have a very, very good reason for this, remember, and so far they’ve raised £5,863.61 of their £30,000 goal. I bet the collective Jaloposphere may be willing to appreciate both the sheer Jalopity of what they’re doing and the incredible difference it could make to this boy’s life — Jack could walk thanks to this surgery. So I think it’d be a good idea to donate something.
My son was born just a week or so after Jack, which makes it all too easy to imagine what Jack’s parents must be going through, so I really hope this all works out. Good luck Minis and drivers! I think they’ll actually be nearby me soon here in NC, so maybe I can see these little Britons in person?