High-flying fundraisers take leap of faith to help find cure

3 min read
 by Alexa Copson

Fearless fundraisers took to the skies at the weekend to help find a cure for brain tumours. 

Our Jump for Hope took place on Saturday (10th June) and saw 47 supporters braving tandem skydives from 10,000ft at locations across the UK. The event has collectively raised more than £53,000, so far.

Police Officer, Amy Christie, completed her skydive in Lancaster after losing her dad Malcolm to a glioblastoma (GBM) on Christmas Eve 2022. 

Amy, who has raised more than £1,600, said: “It has been such a tough year and I wouldn’t wish what happened to Dad on my worst enemy. If doing this skydive can help prevent others going through what we did, it is worth it. It was intense and exhilarating and literally took my breath away. I’ve always wanted to do a skydive so being able to do one while raising money for such a good cause was the perfect opportunity. Dad was terrified of heights, but he would be so proud of me.”

Amy with her skydive instructor

In a demonstration of true friendship, Chloe Davies signed up for our Whitchurch Jump for Hope to show support for her best friend Gemma Gregersen. Chloe raised £900 and Gemma was there on the day, cheering on her pal from the safety of solid ground.

Chloe’s skydive

Gemma lost her son, Riley, to a GBM in August 2021. He was just nine years old. 

Chloe said: “Gemma is one of the strongest people I know. The strength she showed during Riley’s diagnosis and that she continues to show now, fighting to find a cure – she is a force.”

Chloe and Gemma after Chloe’s jump

Amongst those jumping in Whitchurch was Sam Allen, who lost 20% of his body weight to take on the adrenaline-fuelled challenge. He was inspired to sign up after a chance meeting in a pub with the family of young patient, Dakota-Marie Cole.

Dakota-Marie was diagnosed with an ependymoma in 2015, at the age of two. Now nine, since her diagnosis, she has undergone 10 hours of surgery, followed by proton beam therapy. 

Sam raised £880 inspired by Dakota-Marie. He said: “I met the family in the pub when they were new to the area a few years ago. I was moved by what Dakota-Marie had been through in her short life. I could have made a donation to the charity and be done with it but I thought to myself, if she can go through all that, the least I can do throw myself out of a plane.”

Sam and Dakota-Marie at the airfield

Nine-year-old Phoebe Lowe had just turned four when she was diagnosed with a pilocytic astrocytoma in June 2017. Since then, she has had multiple surgeries and now suffers from sight and bladder problems. 

Inspired by his daughter, Phoebe’s dad, Peter, took on our Maidstone Jump for Hope, with Phoebe and his wife Katherine waiting for him on the ground. Before his jump, Peter said he had “a tiny bit of nerves” but was “really looking forward to it”.

Peter and Phoebe

After his jump, which raised more than £1,600, Peter wrote on his JustGiving page: “I would just like to say a HUGE thank you to all those who have supported me and this important charity and I hope to do many more things to raise awareness. Phoebe also says a massive thanks to Brain Tumour Research for her medal!”

Teacher Jon Brierley also jumped in Maidstone. Beforehand he told us: “I like jumping off stuff, usually with a rope, but I don’t really like heights or flying.”

He braved the challenge following the death of his wife’s friend, who passed away last year, just 18 months after being diagnosed with a GBM. Jon raised more than £1,200.

He said his skydive was “the most amazing, exhilarating experience”, adding: “I loved every second and am looking forward to a chance to do it again.”

Jon in flight and a big thumbs up

Taking off from Beccles Airfield in Suffolk, Lindsay Charlson jumped with her husband, Edward’s, ashes strapped to her. Edward died suddenly last year, aged 53, after sustaining a serious head injury during a fall.

Lindsay has raised more than £1,550 inspired by her younger brother, Jamie Marsden, who is receiving palliative care for a terminal brain tumour. 

Jamie was diagnosed with a grade 2 oligoastrocytoma in 2003. Since his diagnosis, he has undergone a craniotomy, two debulking surgeries, internal radiotherapy treatment, high-dose radiotherapy and chemotherapy, but his tumour has continued to grow. The father-of-three has now been told his condition is terminal and there are no further treatment options available for him.

Lindsay (centre) with fellow jumpers, James Painter and Dawn Bennett

Congratulations to all our incredible supporters who put their bravery to the test to take part in our Jump for Hope! Your dedication, passion and enthusiasm for our cause is truly inspiring.

Do you feel inspired to brave a skydive for Brain Tumour Research? We planning our Jump for Hope 2024 – stay tuned for more information coming soon…

Feeling ready to take on an adrenaline challenge for Brain Tumour Research? Check out our upcoming events here or download a free calendar by clicking here.

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