A 58-year-old grandmother is to skydive 15,000 feet to raise money for Derian House Children’s Hospice.
Wendy Fearnehough, from Oldham, decided to take the leap after her grandson Alfie spent time at the hospice after he was referred at just 10-weeks-old.
In May last year, Wendy’s daughter Tanita, 33, and her partner Steve, 35, learned that their son had suffered a brain injury during birth.
The medical condition, hypoxic-ischaemic encephalopathy (HIE), can be life-limiting and affects the brain but can also cause problems in the lungs, liver, heart, and kidneys.
Wendy said: “I’d never heard of HIE and neither had my daughter and her partner. Alfie is their first child so myself and Alfie’s other grandparents, Susan and Derek, all stepped in to help but we all felt we had been thrown in the deep end.
“Leaving hospital and learning how to look after a very poorly baby on our own was a terrifying time for us and but the staff at Derian House helped us every step of the way.
“Our stay there helped build the confidence we needed to get us home as a family. The facilities and activities in the hospice are incredible. Alfie had his first music session, he spent time in the sensory room, and he did some finger painting.
“Staff at Derian House are amazing and they continue to support us. We are really excited for our next stay – going there helps us to have more quality time as a family away from the chaos of everyday life.”
Lynn Grayson, Director of Clinical Services at Derian House Children’s Hospice, said: “When people hear the word hospice they often think of end-of-life care, but in reality we offer so much more than that, including the step-down care we were able to give Alfie’s family.
“When we support families like Alfie’s as they make the transition from hospital to home, we provide them with the breathing space needed to adjust to their changing circumstances.
“We are so grateful that Alfie’s grandma Wendy has chosen to raise money for us and think she’s very brave!”
To spur Wendy on in her challenge is another special milestone – Alfie will turn one in May just in time to watch his granny undertake the big jump!
“I really want to do this for Derian because they have helped us so much,” added Wendy.
“We cannot thank them enough. Alfie will turn one in May, just in time to see me skydive, and I can’t tell you how thankful I am for that.”
Wendy has so far raised almost £500 for the charity. If you would like to donate, visit her JustGiving page: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/Wendy-Fearnehough
Last year 78 brave people jumped out of a plane at 15,000 feet to raise money for the hospice, raising almost £50,000 with their acts of bravery.
The charity is appealing for more skydivers to take the plunge this year. Entry to Dive for Derian is free with divers asked to raise a minimum of £450 via JustGiving.
If yo would like to get involved you can find out more here.