Family’s car raising funds for cancer research

A 10th Force Support Battalion soldier has turned a cheap car into a cancer-fighting endurance machine for an event that certainly gains people’s attention.

CAPTION: Major Lee Sankey and his daughter, Lydia, make some quick repairs to their vehicle during some down time in the Shitbox Rally.

Major Lee Sankey and his daughter, Lydia, are braving the outback, driving 3962km from Alice Springs to the Gold Coast via the Gulf of Carpentaria in a car worth less than $1000 to raise money for the Cancer Council.

The Shitbox Rally, which began on May 22, traverses some of Australia’s most formidable roads.

Major Sankey said that after two years of waiting to take part, he and his wife Sandy were chosen to participate in the 2020 autumn rally.

That event was delayed until this year, and that meant the Sankey family team members changed as circumstances changed.

“I was being deployed, so I substituted with our youngest daughter, Daisy,” Major Sankey said.

“Sandy’s brother in the United Kingdom then passed away, resulting in Sandy’s unexpected return to the UK to address family matters.

“With Daisy then made unavailable due to work commitments, the team became myself and our oldest daughter, Lydia.”

Major Sankey said the family’s entry in the event came from a united desire to help fight cancer.

“Cancer has no consideration nor respect for age,” he said.

“Having members on both side of the family who have, and are suffering from the effects of cancer, raising money for this cause is a personal and poignant endeavour, and I have been floored by the generosity shown by people at every opportunity to help us contribute to the Cancer Council.”

While the value of the participating cars is low, the determination to make it to the Gold Coast is high.

“Not all cars are guaranteed to make it to the end,” Major Sankey said.

“That said, the cars that do are auctioned off to raise additional funds for the Cancer Council, so getting to the finish line is very important.”

To date, Major Sankey and his daughter have raised more than $11,000.

The Alice Springs to the Gold Coast leg of the 2021 autumn rally ends on May 28.

To contribute to the fundraising, visit





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