FOUR friends have completed their long-awaited skydive to raise money for charity, inspired by the cancer diagnosis of one of their daughters.
11-year-old Amelia Book from Melksham was diagnosed with cancer at the age of eight. Following her diagnosis, Amelia’s family received emotional support and practical advice from a social worker from Young Lives vs Cancer, the UK’s leading cancer charity for children and young people. Inspired by Amelia and the support she received, Amelia’s mum Paula Book, Amelia’s aunty Emily Eglin, and family friends Kayla Palethorpe and Jo Leonard, all came together to form ‘Amelia’s heroes’ and raise money for the charity.
Their jump, which took place on Sunday 13th June, at the old Sarum Airfield in Salisbury, was postponed from the original date of 9th May, resulting in a five-week delay.
But the extra time allowed them to boost their fundraising and, in total, they have raised a staggering £8,020.
Amelia’s Mum, Paula said, “It was a real challenge to defy our fear of heights but it was an unbeatable feeling to jump off that plane! I want to thank everyone who sponsored us, thinking of their generosity and the difference the money will make really gave us that motivation to jump. Cancer really turns families’ lives upside down and we want Young Lives vs Cancer to be there to support more families like ours.”
Kayla added, “This was one of the scariest things I’ve ever done but thinking of all Amelia has gone through the last two and a half years made me overcome my fear.”
Jo said, “For the last two and a half years Amelia has been having chemotherapy, bone marrow tests, weekly blood tests, so much medication and countless hospital stays but always with a smile. Amelia is the strongest, most inspirational little girl ever. Her courage throughout all of this would make anyone realise they can face any fear.
“Young Lives vs Cancer has been a massive support to Paula and her family. Helping them every step of the way, helping fill in forms and ensuring the family know what help is out there for them. They are a charity that really do go above and beyond for families with children with cancer.”
Last year in Wiltshire, Young Lives vs Cancer helped 129 families to find the strength to face everything cancer throws at them. It gave out 68 financial grants to the value of £14,020 helping families to cope with the costs of cancer. The Cancer Costs report from the charity found that families with a child on active treatment spend an extra £600 a month.
Alina Kairi, Young Lives vs Cancer Fundraising Engagement Manager for North Wiltshire, said, “When cancer strikes young lives, we help families to face everything it throws at them. We rely entirely on charitable donations to fund our vital work and so we can’t thank Paula, Emily, Kayla and Jo enough for their fantastic efforts.
“This big challenge that these wonderful and brave ladies selflessly took on will make a massive difference for young people with cancer by helping us ensure they are getting the right support they need.”
To support Paula, Emily, Kayla and Jo’s skydive efforts and read Amelia’s full story, go to: www.gofundme.com/f/joanna039s-fund-for-clic-sargent
For more information about Young Lives vs Cancer’s work go to www.younglivesvscancer.org.uk