‘Theo was my inspiration for skydive’

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When little Theo Tasker arrives at his favourite Portrush coffee shop everything stops. His charm takes over and customers and staff of Ocean Cafe are besotted with the three year old, that’s what Theo’s friend and coffee shop owner Marcella Brady says.

Marcella has known the Tasker family from Portrush for a number of years.

Little Theo has Down’s Syndrome, and after becoming friends with the family, Marcella decided she wanted to do something for the Causeway Down’s Syndrome Support Group.

Dare devil Marcella told The Times: “I have known Theo and his family for a few years now.

“When Theo comes in with his parents he just takes over, no work is done.

“He is such a great wee character, I just felt I had to do something for him and to support the local group.”

“I have done a sky dive before, so I kind of knew what to expect. It was scary, but I am so glad I did it.

And the dare devil says she wouldn’t rule out doing it again.

Marcella thanked the instructors and staff at Wild Geece in Garvagh for their support on the day, and added: “Theo and his mum Dee and my mum and dad, plus a few customers of the cafe came up to Wild Geece to support me on the day, it was great.

“That feeling you get as you jump is just amazing, the adrenalin is really pumping, it’s a strange feeling.”

Theo’s mum, Dee Tasker was full of praise for her pal Marcella: “Theo was Marcella’s inspiration.

“She has been saying for a long time that she wanted to do something for him.

“She was so brave and she picked a great cause to do it for.

“Myself and Theo were there on the day of the jump it was amazing, we got such a buzz from just watching, so I can only imagine how Marcella felt.
“Marcella picked a great cause - the Causeway Down’s Syndrome Support Group. As a family we know only to well the support that the group gives.

“The Causeway group do activities for children of all ages, hydro pool lessons, dancing, monkey-nastics, you name it and they have it.”

This weekend, Dee (nee Deirdre Havelin) from Ballymoney, has called on a few old friends as she prepares to go back on stage at a concert she has organised in Portrush Town Hall.

Dee was a former flautist in the Irish traditional group ‘London Lasses’ and the group are making the journey from London this weekend to play for another charity close to Dee’s heart.

“We decided to put on a concert for the Children’s Heartbeat Trust, a charity that helps children and families here in Northern Ireland.

“Theo has had two major heart operations and the charity not only support the child going through the operation, they support the family.

“I used to play in the band, so on the night I have been roped into playing a couple of tunes with the band. It will be a great night, and it is already sold out.”