A brave young fundraiser is preparing to do a tandem skydive for Alzheimer’s Research UK.
Coco Story made the decision to join the UK’s leading dementia research charity for National Skydive Day tomorrow (Saturday) in honour of her grandpa.
The 19-year-old student will take part in the tandem skydive with a trained instructor, and will jump out of an aeroplane at 13,000ft above Sibson Airfield.
Coco said she wanted to do something to fundraise after her grandpa John Richard Burrell, from Tydd St Mary, Lincolnshire, died in 2009 with vascular dementia at the age of 81.
The Westminster University student, who currently lives in London but is from Stibbington, has already raised more than £1,700 ahead of the jump.
Coco, who studies biological sciences, said: “Grandpa always played with us as kids. He used to give us rides on his back and liked to have fun, and those are memories I will cherish forever.
“He didn’t live near us but always made an effort to visit. We had a really close relationship and he has always been special to me. I loved him very much.
“He was diagnosed in 2006 and in 2009 he went into hospital. He had lost the ability to speak to us, but my sister and I sang to him in the hospital, as he loved music, and he was squeezing my hand to the beat of the song, which was really touching and something that I will always remember. It is horrible to think what the disease did to him.”
Coco said she likes activities that get the adrenaline going but has “never done anything as extreme” as a skydive before.
She added: “I got in touch with Alzheimer’s Research UK as I knew I wanted to do a skydive for them.
“When they told me they had a whole day dedicated to it and one of the eight venues was my local airfield I couldn’t wait to sign up.”
Coco has smashed her original target of £700 with her fundraising total currently in excess of £2,000. To donate to her jump go to http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/cocostory