Earlier this year, my sister Claire decided she wanted to do a skydive in memory of her son Jamie who passed away in 2004. Now knowing my sister, this is totally out of her comfort zone. I know that this would be a huge deal for her. And it was. I certainly couldn’t do it so I know she is extremely brave to attempt to do something so daring and frightening. But when Claire puts her mind to something, especially when it comes to raising money, she is determined. And she was determined about doing this jump and raising a great amount of money for her chosen charity.
Claire chose Zoe’s Place Baby Hospice for her chosen charity. It was really spooky as the day before she booked her skydive, I actually saw some workers from Zoe’s Place with their babies and children from the hospice at a park. I had never heard of this charity before and the park we were visiting was around 20 miles from our town. So not local. I was literally in awe of the staff and astonished at the love they showed for the children they were caring for. I felt an overwhelming sense of love and sadness at the same time and actually burst into tears. So for my sister to choose the very same charity (which she also had not heard of until that day) was really a strange and spooky coincidence.
For the purpose of this post, I have asked Claire a set of questions to give us an insight into her feelings and how she felt about her skydive!
1.Firstly, why did you chose this particular activity to raise money and why Zoe’s Place Baby Hospice as your chosen charity?
I did the skydive to raise money for a children’s hospice as it’s a cause very close to my heart. I lost my beautiful son very suddenly at the age of just four and a half years. A friend of mine had put on social media that she was doing the challenge and needed a final amount of money to qualify to take part. I immediately donated the money and congratulated her on a brave challenge for a fab charity. I told her I’d love to do it too so she sent me the details. When I woke on my sons anniversary I felt empty and sad. I wanted to do something worthy and positive, to have purpose. I remembered the skydive and looked at the details and the closing day to qualify was that day. I needed to raise £100. That was it. I created my fundraising page and committed. The donations and wishes of encouragement and support came flooding in and I reached the £100 in no time at all. A skydive for me was a huge personal challenge as it sounded terrifying. I’ve never been very sporty or into rides or anything extreme so very new and a huge deal.
2.How did you feel in the run up to your skydive?
The run up to the original date was really quite stressful. I’d wake in the night terrified and wondering if I could do it! Then in a strong positive moment I’d feel determined to do it. The original dive was cancelled due to bad weather after we’d spent 7 hours waiting at the centre. I went home flat and deflated. It was then another 4 weeks until we could attempt it again which created more anxiety! It was a very long build up and rollercoaster of emotions.
3. Explain what it felt like to jump out of a plane?
Jumping out of a plane does not feel natural!!! The first bit you feel like you’re totally falling (because you are!) I completely lost my head. Then, once the instructor deployed the first very small parachute we stabilised. Although we were falling at 120 miles an hour (yes I know!) it didn’t feel like it. The wind buffered us and I was actually smiling!
4. How do you feel now that you’ve completed the jump?
It feels a little strange to be honest. Doing the jump was an amazing experience even thought it was completely frightening. But it has been an emotional challenge for me and I am working through this each day.
5. Finally, would you do it again?
Yes. Now I know what to expect, I almost feel I want to do it better next time. Concentrate more on the experience instead of being full of fear. Watch this space!
I am so proud of my sister. I knew how hard this was for her to do. Not only physically but also mentally as well. Whilst Jamie is very much in our thoughts every single day, it can be exhausting dealing with the emotions that come with missing him so much. To do this was so brave and I know it will stay with Claire forever.
Claire managed to raise a total of……….£1,7770!!!
She is incredibly thankful for all those that have supported her and her chosen charity so THANK YOU!!
There is still time to donate. Please visit my sister’s Just Giving page here!