Adventurer recruiting other survivors to join jeep restoration project
- Credit: Gregg Brown
A Suffolk cancer survivor who gained renown for his personal challenges in aid of charity has a unique new venture for other patients recovering from illness.
Oliver ‘Olly’ Rofix was saved from a rare form of leukaemia by bone marrow donation in 2006.
Since then, he has sailed single-handedly round Britain and driven a tractor from Land’s End to John o’ Groats – raising more than £60,000 for charity and recruiting donors to the Anthony Nolan bone marrow register.
But Mr Rofix needs extra hands for his latest challenge – to restore a vintage jeep at his workshop in Stanton, near Bury St Edmunds, and take it on the road in a display of gratitude to NHS hospitals.
The 32-year-old engineer, who spent much of his 21st year undergoing chemotherapy and transfusions before his transplant, said: “I’ve been fortunate enough to get sponsorship to restore a Willys jeep – and I want others to get involved in the project to help thank NHS staff and raise awareness for Anthony Nolan.
“I want up to 10 people to help – as much for the social interaction as the restoration itself.
“I used to spend 52 days a year in hospital, so I know the psychological effects as well as the physical implications.
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“Lots of charities offer chances to do wonderful things – but there’s not much out there that doesn’t constantly remind people of their illness.
“When I saw this little jeep, I thought of inviting other people to come along and get stuck in.
“I’ve learned that doing something practical can be very positive. Like recovery, you start with something broken and try to make it better.”
Mr Rofix wants to hear from adults in post-treatment keen to join the restoration project.
Following a talk he gave at the Rotary Club of Stowmarket, rotarian Bob Baker was inspired to ask his son, Tim, for help accommodating Mr Rofix.
“Having this workshop has allowed me to start my business,” he said.
“It’s the first time I’ve had everything under one roof.
“The generosity and support I’ve received from others has inspired me to pay it forward.”
Mr Baker said: “All credit should go to Olly. He’s is an inspiration to us all. His parents should be very proud of his achievements.”
To join the restoration project, call 01359250343 or email email@example.com.