Brave grandma takes to the skies

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A GRANDMOTHER-of-two with a rare brain condition is planning a parachute jump from a plane for charity later this month.

Lydia Williams, aged 63, was diagnosed with cerebella ataxia 11 years ago. The neurological condition affects co-ordination, balance, and vision.

She is doing the 10,000ft freefall parachute jump in memory of David Gregory, who died of heart problems related to ataxia, in April at the age of just 26.

David was a well-loved member of Sheffield Ataxia Group, who meet at The Circle, off Division Street in the city centre, once a week.

He was elected chairman and represented the group at meetings further afield. He had always wanted to do a skydive, but never got the chance.

All the money Lydia raises - which so far totals around £600 - will go to Ataxia UK, whose patrons include Chris de Burgh and Kim Wilde.

Lydia, of Circular Drive, Renishaw, who worked as a petrol station attendant for 19 years, said: “I’d never have thought of doing it if it hadn’t been for David. He never got the chance.

“I’m not scared. I’m also really lucky - I’m still walking and quite independent.

“I am so grateful for all that the doctors at Royal Hallamshire Hospital in Sheffield have done for me.”

Her three children and two grandchildren - Gabriella, four, and Max, two - will show their support on the day.

She will do her jump on Saturday, September 17, at Langar in Nottingham.

n Visit www.justgiving.com/Lydia-Williams to donate.