Sheffield teenager to take on charity skydive

Jess Parkin.
Jess Parkin.
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A teenager has been inspired to take on a charity skydive after her aunt was diagnosed with terminal cancer.

Jess Parkin, aged 19, from Stocksbridge, Sheffield, has signed up for the daredevil stunt to raise money for the World Cancer Research Fund.

The administration assistant’s aunt Rose, 57, is terminally ill with breast cancer, and the challenge will involve a plunge from a plane at 10,000 feet.

Jess said Rose handled the diagnosis with ‘strength and dignity’.

“She’s making the most of her time left and just carrying on, not letting it interfere with her life,” Jess said.

“She’s such an inspiring person. There is no self-pity, she just refuses to give up.”

She added: “It feels so bizarre to know she doesn’t have as much time as she could, I can’t imagine how she stays so positive. I’m so proud of her.”

The cause is close to Jess’s heart as she also has another aunt, Ann, who is currently recovering from breast cancer treatment.

Jess said: “The World Cancer Research Fund helps people understand what they can do to reduce their risk of cancer, and I wanted to support them.

“Cancer is a frightening disease – I wanted to do something that would terrify me and force me to be brave.

“Whenever I think about jumping out of the plane it terrifies me, but it will be worth it to raise money for cancer prevention.

“The more I raise, the better the chance of preventing cancer.”

The skydive is happening in July. So far Jess has raised more than half of her initial £500 target.

Michael Smeaton, World Cancer Research Fund’s deputy head of fundraising, said: “We’re honoured Jess has raised money for us. Jumping out of a plane isn’t something everyone can do so her effort is very impressive.

“It is thanks to people like Jess that we can continue to fund research into cancer prevention.”

The charity funds scientific research into how the risk of cancer is related to diet, physical activity and weight management, as well as health information programmes.

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