A fearful leap which could help send cancer flying

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As a friend and I hurriedly scribbled our names down on The Chartwell Cancer Trust’s tandem skydiving registration form, I wondered what  I had gotten myself into.

A  12,000ft freefall out of a plane, in all honesty doesn’t exactly scream ‘fun’ to me.

However, after participating in the unforgettable ‘Moonwalk’ marathon for Breast Cancer earlier this year, I witnessed just how imperative funding is for change to happen, so, I thought skydiving… why not?

The Chartwell Cancer Trust is a local cancer charity that many people haven’t heard a lot about, it raises much needed funds for the leukaemia and cancer units at South London’s Princess Royal University Hospital.

Raising over £81.3K already, I wanted to find out more about their inspiring work and also what spurs do-gooders on to take part in such a terrifying activities in the name of charity.

‘I wanted to do a skydive for charity because it means both conquering a fear I have and helping people at the same time,’ says Caroline Wiltshire, 23 from Kent.

She is participating in the skydiving event on October 6th this year and is hoping to raise a whopping £700 at least by then.

‘I’m terrified of flying, but I don’t want to live a life dictated by fear, I chose to jump for the Chartwell Unit because of their story and what they do.’

Caroline said ‘I have a lot of relatives and friends who have battled cancer so it is a disease I personally want to see beaten in my lifetime, charities like this help so many people suffering, so how could I not do something?’

So what exactly is the Chartwell Cancer Unit’s story?

It was founded in 2005, when they initially started fundraising to cover the costs of one extra healthcare assistant in the Chartwell Cancer and Leukaemia Unit at The Princess Royal Hospital.

Since then, they have branched out and now raise a great deal more not just for the Princess Royal, but also Croydon University Hospital, Queen Elizabeth in Woolwich, Kings College and Guys and St Thomas’ Hospitals.

Their funding focuses on raising money for vital equipment, staff and training to make every affected  patient’s life easier to cope with. Working within the NHS myself, I am fortunate to know a little bit about how much this funding can benefit so many lives, every pound donated helps in ways you cannot imagine.

When asked about what she is most looking forward to about the gut-wrenching 12,000ft jump into the unknown, Caroline grinned ‘What I’m most excited about is doing this with some of my favourite people In the world. My siblings, my best friend and a couple of close friends have said they want to do it as well, so I guess I am most excited about creating this memory with some incredible people!’

With skydiving tip top of many adventurer’s bucket lists, at least we’ll be able to cross it off ours in October!


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