Wiltshire's skies to be filled by Brighter Futures skydiving fundraisers

Posted: July 14, 2015

Wiltshire's skies to be filled by Brighter Futures fundraising skydivers

Parachuting fundraisers will fill the skies over Wiltshire on Sunday 19 July having thrown themselves out of an aeroplane at 10,000 feet - all in aid of Brighter Futures' £2.9m Radiotherapy Appeal.

The 12 intrepid jumpers' money-raising efforts will go towards buying equipment which would deliver radiotherapy to local cancer patients at Swindon's Great Western Hospital.

Presently many local cancer patients have to go daily to hospitals in Oxford or Bath for radiotherapy treatment for up to seven weeks.

Brighter Futures, Great Western Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust's charity, launched its fundraising appeal at the end of May.

Theme park preparation

One of those jumping is Melanie Lyng, who had to travel from her All Cannings home near Devizes to the Royal United Hospital in Bath for radiotherapy last year, having been diagnosed with breast cancer.

Mrs Lyng, who works for Wiltshire Council's HR department, has been on rides at Thorpe Park to prepare for the jump, which she is doing with two friends.

"I'm really excited about the jump, but not the 30 seconds of free-fall - I've been to the theme park to prepare, but it's something that I'm really looking forward to," Mrs Lyng, 48, said.

"I'm going to do it with my eyes open, so I can take in the view - I've spoken to others who have skydived and they say the scene is fantastic."

Giving something back to Swindon

Mrs Lyng had chemotherapy and a mastectomy at GWH following an ultrasound scan there in April last year which revealed she had breast cancer.

"Having cancer really focuses the mind and my attitude now is that you have to go and live life to the full," Mrs Lyng, whose children Ellen, 15, and Louis,14, will be at Salisbury's Old Sarum Airfield to support her jump, said.

"I am jumping because I want to give something back to Swindon as I had such fantastic care there when I had my mastectomy and chemotherapy.

"Travelling to Bath for radiotherapy was a long journey and I was one of the youngest people doing it, so I can imagine it must be very hard for others who are older having to go there or to Oxford, at a time which is emotionally and physically difficult.

"Having radiotherapy available in Swindon will be really excellent for everybody in Wiltshire and I am pleased to be raising money for the cause by doing this skydive."

A fantastic fundraiser

Jennifer Green, Brighter Futures' Head of Fundraising, said: "The skydive is going to be a fantastic fundraiser for Brighter Futures and I would like to thank everybody who will be leaping out of an aeroplane for such a great cause.

"Many of those jumping, like Melanie, have their own personal stories and experiences which have acted as a catalyst for them taking the decision to raise money by skydiving.

"All their efforts will help bring closer the aim of having radiotherapy therapy treatment available locally at Great Western Hospital."

Several other fundraising events are planned in aid of the Radiotherapy Appeal. Click here for more information.

Take a selfie

Selfie-takers can still show their support for the Radiotherapy Appeal by posting photographs with themselves with a clock or watch on Facebook and Twitter with #TheTimeIsNow.

How can I donate and where can I get further information about Brighter Futures?

Anyone wanting to donate can do so by texting SWIN29, followed by either £5 or £10, to 70070.

Stay up-to-date with all the latest news from Brighter Futures by visiting www.brighterfuturesgwh.nhs.uk, following @BF_NHS on Twitter or liking the Facebook page, Brighter Futures GWH. 

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