A MAN from Mawdesley has set off today to complete a mammoth 250-mile trek on a tractor, in a bid to repay the generosity of two cancer charities,
Neil Baxter’s wife, Gabi, was diagnosed with breast cancer in August last year and was cared for by Macmillan and Clatterbridge Cancer Charity.
Now Neil, 44, will drive to Dagenham to raise money for the charities.
Gabi, 47, said: “Neil bought the tractor a few years ago so when I got my diagnosis last year, he decided to restore it as a bit of a distraction.
“I have my horses so it was good for Neil to have something to do as well.
“His family have a long history of farming over in Southport so he has always been around tractors and, when he restored it, he had the idea of taking it to Dagenham where the model was originally manufactured.”
Neil, a sales rep and dad to two teenage daughters, will drive to the New Holland factory at Basildon, where he and brothers Keith and Gary will have a tour round the visitor centre before taking the Dexta to Dagenham, where it was made in March 1961.
He will then set off at a snail’s pace of around 10mph to make the long journey back home.
“It has no cab, no suspension, nothing,” said Gabi, who is still undergoing treatment. She will have tests alongside her father, who also had breast cancer but has been cancer-free for four years, to see if they carry the cancer gene, BRCA2.
Dexta the tractor is set to be displayed at the Riverside Steam Fair on April 25 and 26.
l To sponsor Neil, visit uk.virginmoneygiving.com/Dextasgranddayout.