It might only be October but Christmas has come early for cancer charity Friends of the Cancer Centre and 19 year old Armoy girl Tamara McErlain, as they get set to take on the charity’s 13,000ft Santa Skydive.
On 29th November, Tamara will be one of the brave participants to don a Santa suit to take on the ultimate adrenalin experience of a tandem skydive. This is the second year in a row that Tamara will be taking part in Friends of the Cancer Centre’s skydive challenge, which she is doing in memory of her brother, Callan, who passed away from Ewing’s Sarcoma in June 2013 at the age of 16.
Tamara said: “This will be my second time taking part in Friends of the Cancer Centre’s Santa Skydive and I already can’t wait to get my Santa suit on. Last year 21 friends and family members decided to take on the challenge in memory of my brother, Callan, who was a real adrenalin junkie who loved doing things that most others wouldn’t dare. He was a motocross racer and being the daredevil that he was, I know he would have been first in line to do a skydive. It was just the perfect event to remember him by and while we were all nervous and excited about doing it, Callan spurred us on and gave us the push we needed to get on the plane and enjoy such an incredible experience.
“This year I know exactly what I’m in for and I can’t wait. It’s such an amazing feeling. Even if the nerves do kick in, all I have to do is think about the wonderful care and support that Callan received at the Cancer Centre when he was sick and that will get me through. As a family we’ve been committed to raising money for Friends of the Cancer Centre to say thank you for the support that Callan and the family received. We know that the money that we raise will have a direct impact on patients, people just like Callan, and help them when they need it most. I’d encourage anyone who has always wanted to do a skydive to sign up straight away as you’ll not regret it.”
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Friends of the Cancer Centre, based in the heart of the Cancer Centre at Belfast City Hospital, is one of the leading cancer charities in Northern Ireland working to support cancer patients, their families and carers through key projects in the areas of research, patient comfort and care, clinical care and equipment. From small, everyday comforts such as providing newspapers and magazines throughout the Cancer Centre, to investments of nearly £1 million into local cancer research; Friends of the Cancer Centre is at the forefront of local cancer care in Northern Ireland. Over the next three years, the charity aims to raise at least £5 million to fund on-going and new projects which will continue to support local cancer patients.
Claire Hogarth, Fundraising Manager at Friends of the Cancer Centre, said: “Our Santa Skydive is our last event of the year and it’s certainly the biggest and bravest challenge for our daring, adrenalin junkie fundraisers to take on. While it’s not for the faint hearted, we can guarantee that anyone who takes part will have an incredible day and they will remember it for the rest of their lives.
“It really is a once in a lifetime experience and by doing something so brave and daring, you’ll be raising money to support the thousands of brave people battling and living with cancer every day. You can’t get any more worthwhile than that.”
Registration is now open so for further information or to sign up to take the plunge, please visit www.friendsofthecancercentre.com or call 028 9069 9393.