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HomeFarming NewsTY students breathe life into a vintage tractor for childhood cancer
Catherina Cunnane
Catherina Cunnane
Catherina Cunnane hails from a sixth-generation drystock and specialised pedigree suckler enterprise in Co. Mayo. She currently holds the positions of editor and general manager at That's Farming, having joined the firm during its start-up phase in 2015.
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TY students breathe life into a vintage tractor for childhood cancer

Three TY students have combined their love of agricultural machinery with their transition year student enterprise programme to raise money for charity.

Andrew Jordan, Jack Beirne and Mark Rogers from Scoil Mhuire in Strokestown have been making the most of our latest lockdown by restoring a 1956 Ferguson 20 tractor.

They have stripped the old-tired tractor down to the bare chassis sandblasted every inch restoring each original part sourcing parts and paint countrywide.

The boys are currently learning the art of a complete respray of their treasured tractor. Students are raffling the restored vintage tractor for Childhood Cancer Foundation Ireland on January 8th, 2021.

Lightbulb moment

Andrew spoke of how the idea for their enterprise project came about.

“I suppose it was a conversation around our kitchen table. We all loved driving tractors this summer and we thought we could make money and have the craic returning a vintage tractor to its former glory.”

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“We sourced the old Ferguson 20 and towed it home to the shed. Furthermore, we have spent every spare hour doing this for the five weeks. It has been both a labour of love and very frustrating, but we are committed and will work to the finish.”

The decision to donate money to Childhood Cancer Foundation Ireland was an easy one for the group, as Mark explained. The national charity provides vital play services for children with cancer.

“Our best friend and team member Jack overcame cancer as a child. We decided it would be great if we could help support children and teenagers who are going through cancer. Hopefully, they will be busy at projects like our friend Jack when they come out the other side.”

Childhood cancer

Jack, who is now cancer-free, remembers the long days on the ward in Crumlin hospital.

His mother took him to their GP when he was three because he was very pale. Doctors discovered he had Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia (ALL).

“I spent three-and-a-half-years going up and down Our Lady’s Children’s Hospital Crumlin (now CHI at Crumlin) for chemotherapy. To say that life was not what every child would wish for during those years is an understatement.”

“However, with all the love, support and help of both the medical professionals and most importantly, my family, friends and community, I am one of the lucky ones. I am now cancer-free and have been discharged from all medical services for the last few years.”

Profits to charity

The enterprise module encourages TY students to develop their own business ideas. This involves preparing business plans and creating products or running events with a view to making profit.

In this case, students are donating any profits to Childhood Cancer Foundation Ireland, a cause close to Jack’s heart.

“Making money is part of the enterprise project but helping other kids like me for a cause so close to my heart made it very easy for me and my friends to stay motivated to make this enterprise a success.”

“I remember the long days that we would spend in the day ward in Crumlin and my parents trying to keep me busy and play with me while I waited to go down to theatre for my chemo.”

“Now, thanks to Childhood Cancer Foundation Ireland, there is a play specialist on St. John’s Day Ward, helping children cope with the worries of feeling unwell, being away from home in strange surroundings and being continually poked and prodded by strangers,” said Jack.

Raise awareness of childhood cancer

Laura Cullinan, a voluntary director with Childhood Cancer Foundation Ireland, and a parent of a child who has also survived childhood cancer, said:

“Children with cancer display incredible bravery while enduring harsh chemotherapy and radiotherapy treatments.”

“It is always heart-warming to see children and young adults like Jack who have completed their own harrowing battle with childhood cancer and who then devote time and energy to helping others who unfortunately have to follow in their footsteps.”

“We are delighted to partner with Jack, Andrew, and Mark for this exciting initiative. Covid has had a huge impact on all charities and we are no different.”

“This fundraiser will help us to continue to raise awareness of childhood cancer and the devastation that a cancer diagnosis brings to children and their families.”

“Every donation will assist us to continue to fund our projects at Our Lady’s Children’s Hospital Crumlin and other shared care hospitals around Ireland. We’d ask you to support this unique project if you can.”

Scoil Mhuire principal Eamonn Corrigan said, “It is a fantastic idea and great credit to the  three students involved.”

“With the time effort and commitment given to this project, I have no doubt it will be a great success. The school would like to congratulate the three lads on this wonderful project.”

Support raffle

One lucky winner will drive away with this unique vintage tractor in early January at the end of the raffle.

You can support the boys Classic4Cancer campaign by buying a €10 entry into the raffle plus booking fee via here or here.

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