Every now and then you come across someone who is truly inspirational. For us, Chris O’Conner is one of those people. At the beginning of this year, 81 year-old Chris, a Chelsea Pensioner and resident veteran at the Royal Hospital Chelsea was given just a year to live following a diagnosis of IPF, a lung-wasting disease.
Chris, who says his motto is “just keep going – get out there and enjoy life,” decided he wanted to spend this year making a real difference and has signed up to the Veterans Banger Rally, which begins on September 24th. Chris will be raising as much money as he can for three charities; Back on Track, the Royal Hospital Chelsea’s Veteran Outreach programme, and Blind Veterans.
The rally takes in 3,000 miles between London and Gibraltar and back, and Chris will drive it in none other than his 20 year old 1.6 litre Toyota Corolla, supported by two serving veterans.
After returning back home, Chris will be donating the car to Back on Track so it can be auctioned at the Dancing with Heroes Ball on November 25th.
In an interview Chris said: “I’ve certainly had a good run, but I know there is more that can be done to leave the world in a better state than I found it. If in my last year I can leave a legacy which tells people, ‘You can make a difference to the lives of many if you just try’, then I’ll be happy.”
We’re so inspired by Chris’ attitude, and cannot wait to see how he gets on. If you’d like to follow Chris’ journey and donate, you can do so here.