Two adrenalin junkie mums took the plunge and raised almost £20,000 jumping out of a plane to thank the children’s hospice that cared for their children.
Holly Nixon, of Adlington in Chorley, jumped 15,000ft out of the sky in memory of her four-year-old son Alfie who was cared for at Derian House Children’s Hospice.
Evita Bolmane, of Skelmersdale, also made the jump to thank the hospice for the care it continues to offers her three-year-old daughter Gaby.
“There is nothing I could physically do to pay back Derian House for what they did for Alfie and us,” said Holly, who raised an incredible £18,636 in sponsorship for the charity.
“Derian House was amazing during Alfie’s short life and equally amazing afterwards. I’d be lost without that place. The staff were a lifeline for me in helping to care for Alfie, he even spent his fourth birthday at the hospice having fun. Derian will always hold a very special place in my heart.”
Holly spent the days following Alfie’s death in April this year at Derian House Children’s Hospice, as he lay at rest in one of the special cold Sunflower Rooms. The extra time gave the family more time to say goodbye to their beloved boy.
And although she described her skydive as “insanity” Holly insists it was worth it. “That one leap will create thousands of memories for families like ours.”
Holly jumped 15,000ft out of plane alongside Alfie’s dad Tom Kinder, and step-dad James Trippier.
The Chorley-based charity, which has to raise £6 million every year, invited thrill-seekers to take the plunge in this year’s “Dare for Derian” – with more than 70 people signing up.
The fundraiser has already brought in a whopping £65,300 in total so far – and there’s more to come when even more daredevils take to the skies later this month.
Mum Evita Bolmane, of Skelmersdale, whose daughter Gaby visits Derian House, signed up to jump as soon as she could.
“Derian House is so supportive of Gaby and our family, it was nice to be able to give something back and raise money for the place that always makes us smile,” said Evita.
Her daughter Gaby, three, was born with half a heart – hypoplastic left heart syndrome – and visits Derian House for playgroup, cinema visits and has enjoyed a free week’s holiday at one of the charity’s lodges.
The brave mum claims she “smiled all the way down” as she dived from 11,000ft out of a plane at Black Knights Parachute Centre, near Lancaster.
“I was so excited for the dive; I wasn’t scared at all,” continued Evita.
“To do something special for Derian and for Gaby was amazing. When we got there, there were barely any clouds in the sky and it was lovely and sunny. I did it with my two neighbours, Leah and Nick. It was an amazing experience. Gaby came to watch me do it and met me at the end.”
Evita’s skydive raised over £500 for Derian House Children’s Hospice.
Kerry Pritchard, Community Fundraiser at Derian House, said: “Each year we are amazed by our incredible supporters who are willing to throw themselves out of a plane for Derian House – they are fearless!
“It’s very special that two mums who use Derian House decided to challenge themselves – Evita and Holly are both very brave and we’re so proud of them for this awesome challenge.
“It will cost £6million to run services at Derian House in 2023, so we rely on the bravery and kindness of our supporters who take part in events like these to help children whose lives are too short.”
Derian House, based in Chorley, Lancashire, cares for more than 400 babies, children, young people and their families from across the North West and is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.