In 1994, Mark Buckley’s son Alex was diagnosed with a rare genetic condition called Phenylketonuria. In recognition of the support the family received from the NSPKU, Mark took part in a rally to raise money for this charity. Themed around the classic Michael Caine film, the Italian Job was a self funded journey all the way from Rotherham in the UK to Motor Valley in Italy, with a friend from the Sheffield Teaching Hospital. Along the way to Italy, they also visited orphanages in Austria, France and Germany to raise awareness and to lend support.
Mark did the first Italian Job run in 1996, when Alex was only 2 years old. Now, fast forward 20 years and he’s doing it all again – this time his son is almost 22 years old and, thanks to the care he received at Sheffield Children’s Hospital, is well and lives a relatively normal life.
According to Mark: “After seeing photos of the original rally, Alex really wanted to share the experience with his Dad. This time, we’ll be raising money for the Variety Club of Great Britain, a popular UK charity that does understated work which has a major impact on children in the UK. We’re setting off at the end of October for the 10 days journey as part of a convoy of 100-150 vehicles. I can’t wait!
Their target is to raise £2000 and their restored Mini Cooper (complete with TMC logos) will be stuffed with gifts, toiletries and other products to help the survivors of the recent Italian earthquake
Mark, who works for the Rotherham Foundation Trust in the UK said: “I’m so grateful for the support of TMC. I’ve worked with them over the years and they’ll be my largest sponsor on the rally. And what a chance to relive this journey all these years later with my son, who I’m delighted to say is fit and well and who celebrates his 22nd birthday this year. It’s going to be the trip of a lifetime for us both.”