A Kent MINI Cooper enthusiast is preparing to drive the iconic car to the Arctic Circle in support of blood cancer charity Leukaemia & Lymphoma Research.
David Bayliss from Horsmondon near Tumbridge Wells and his girlfriend Vikki Kemp, aim to drive more than 6,500 miles to the most northerly point on mainland Europe, to help the charity find better treatments and cures for leukaemia, lymphoma and myeloma.
The couple were inspired to attempt the epic journey, which will take them through nine countries including France, Germany, Finland and Norway, after David’s sister, Elaine Hickman, was successfully treated for leukaemia.
Elaine, now 28, was just eight-years-old when she was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukaemia (ALL) in 1990 but recovered well and has just given birth to her first child, Phoebe.
"We’ll be forever grateful for the treatment Elaine received," said David, 26. "My sister wouldn’t be here now if it wasn’t for all the research that has taken place, so Leukaemia & Lymphoma Research is a hugely important charity for my whole family."
"We’ve always had an enthusiasm for MINIs and we thought ‘what’s the most difficult and amazing challenge we can do to raise money?’ As it’s winter, things could get pretty interesting… but we’re very excited about getting going!"
To help David and Vikki deal with challenges such as driving in heavy snow, 24-hour-darkness and temperatures which may fall as low as minus 50 degrees Celsius, MINI UK have kindly loaned them a new MINI Cooper D Countryman ALL4.
Setting out from the Arden MINI dealership in Maidstone at 11am on Saturday 27 November, they will be escorted to the Channel Tunnel by a convoy of MINIs. David and Vicky hope to return to the dealership on 29 December.
You can support David and Vikki by visiting their JustGiving page