21/01/2011 – Nine year old Rohan Teague from Portsmouth is one of the very few to have met former Stig Ben Collins as Starlight Children’s Foundation, the UK’s leading wish granting charity for children with serious and terminal illnesses, arranged for Rohan to meet the motorsport star at Autosport International, an exhibition in Birmingham.
As part of the event, a host of celebrities from the world of motorsport participated in the Celebrity Karting Challenge, raising a tremendous £10,422 for Starlight.
The challenge was a fiercely contested affair between last year’s winners, The Loose Cannons, led by Formula Renault Champion Duncan Tappy, and the Racing4charity team, led by TV Stunt driver Salvo Cachia, whose team included another former Formula Renault Champion, Adam Christodoulou, and the man Rohan was there to meet – former Stig Ben.
The meeting was just the beginning for the young Top Gear fan, who dreams of being driven round in a Bugatti Veron by The Stig and visiting the Top Gear Studio.
For the last three years, Rohan has been fighting acute lymphoblastic leukaemia and he has recently finished his maintenance chemotherapy treatment.
Rohan’s mother explains the impact the treatment had on her son: “Rohan has been so brave and never ever complains. He was very upset when he lost all his hair and chose to wear a wig which is quite unusual for a boy but he has always had the most beautiful coloured red hair.”
Starlight is working hard to grant all of Rohan’s wish but the chance to introduce him to one of his motorsport heroes, Ben Collins, was just too good an opportunity to miss. Rohan had no idea that his day off school would entail a surprise meeting with the man behind the white helmet, who Rohan has been following on his favourite programme Top Gear! Ben had his special helmet on hand for Rohan to try on and was only too happy to divulge some of the secrets to his driving success on Top Gear.
Former Stig Ben said: “Starlight is a great charity to be racing for and at the event I got to meet a young man called Rohan, who wished to meet the Stig. Although I wasn’t able to truly fulfill that as I am no longer racing as the Stig, it was very nice to meet him. He has had leukaemia and he is now recovering, which is great, and we were really glad that we were able to give him a day out. Rohan also wants to ride in a Bugatti Veron so if we all save up, we can club together to help him with that part of his wish also!”
Rohan is now safely back at school leaving Starlight the small challenge of granting the rest of his well-deserved wish!
Contact: Henny Breakwell
Tel: 020 7262 2881 #231
Starlight grants a once-in-a-lifetime wish for seriously and terminally ill children, restoring the magic and fun of childhood and giving the whole family happy memories to share, whatever the future holds.
Starlight also creates entertainment in every hospital and hospice throughout the UK. Sick children go to Starlight parties, laugh their way through pantomimes, go out on Starlight Escapes, play games and watch films on the Starlight Fun Centre, and enjoy the toys and puzzles of the Starlight Distraction Box. Happy children respond better to treatment and Starlight helps children to forget about their illness and simply have a bit of fun.
You can make a donation online or by calling us on 020 7262 2881. For every £1 you donate, Starlight can assure you that 91p goes towards helping very ill children. To refer a child for a wish, simply complete our wish referral form.