6:00am Friday 23rd August 2013
A BUSINESSMAN who won an £8,000 car in a raffle to fund treatment in the United States for a girl battling a rare cancer has donated the vehicle back to the appeal.
Railway holidays operator Nigel Taylor said although he had never won a prize in a raffle previously he was thrilled to be able to add to the drive to help secure Fraja Simpson, of RAF Leeming, near Bedale, treatment for her neuroblastoma with MYCN amplification.
The draw, at the Evans Halshaw Citroen dealership, in Croft Road, Darlington, came as Fraja’s family are set to learn the results of critical tests to see if her cancer has changed.
Mr Taylor, whose firm Inside Track is based in Buckinghamshire, bought the raffle tickets while leading a tour on the Wensleydale Railway and filled out the ticket stubs with Fraja’s name after meeting her there.
He said: “I have been affected by cancer so many times in my life, so I am very happy that I made first place in this draw and was able to help.”
The car raffle, which was organised by Evans Halshaw Citroen, in Croft Road, Darlington, saw more than 2,000 tickets sold at events including the Sunderland Air Show and the Forces Families Day, in Catterick, as well as outside several supermarkets across North Yorkshire and the North East.
Gavin Morgans (correct), its dealer principal, said he was delighted the 60 miles-per-gallon hatchback had generated £10,030 in ticket sales and that the car had taken the £500,000 appeal past its £100,000 milestone.
He said there were emotional scenes at the dealership after Emmerdale actor Matthew Wolfenden, who plays David Metcalfe in the soap opera, drew the raffle ticket with Fraja’s name on it.
Mr Morgans said he had organised the raffle after reading about the five-year-old Leeming Community RAF Primary School pupil’s determination to battle the cancer, which there have previously been only two similar cases worldwide, on the appeal’s Facebook page.
Fraja’s mother, Michelle, said she and her RAF flight sergeant husband, Garry, had been overwhelmed by the generosity of Mr Taylor’s donation.
She thanked the dealership for organising the raffle, Mr Wolfenden and everyone who had bought the tickets.
Scores of people following the appeal on Facebook said they were touched by Mr Taylor’s generosity, with one describing it as “the act of a true gentleman”.
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