Mother-of-five set to face her fear of heights

Alana Gudge
Alana Gudge

A woman who is scared of heights is to face her fears in a charity skydive — raising funds to tackle a ‘terrible illness’ which has plagued generations of her family.

Alana Gudge, 32, will take part in a tandem skydive, jumping from more than 10,000 feet on September 5 in aid of Ovarian Cancer Action.

Her mother Jennifer Parmenter was diagnosed with the disease two-and-a-half years ago and further research found there was a ‘strong line’ of ovarian and breast cancer.

Mrs Gudge explained her mother will be the seventh generation family member to die from either ovarian or breast cancer.

“On a scale of one to ten of how scared I am of flying, it’s a 20,” she said. “A prime example; we went to Spain four weeks ago, and I had four glasses of wine and 10mg of diazepam on the plane!

“I am petrified. I have been losing sleep over it. I woke up in the night crying after having a bad dream that the instructor had cut the straps off my parachute.

“It was an impulse thing to do a skydive. I saw it and said ‘I am scared of that’. I hope people support me as I am facing my fears.”

So far, more than £1,000 has been raised. In 2013, she raised more than £2,000 for the charity through a head shave, also donating her locks to the Little Princess Trust.

Mrs Gudge said the event was to raise awareness as well as funds for Ovarian Cancer Action — and said if she hits her target of £2,500, she will once again shave her head before her skydive.

The mother-of-five, who is one of three siblings who had a hysterectomy after being deemed ‘high risk’ by doctors, said raising awareness of the ‘silent killer’ meant ‘more than words can describe’.

“They are just giving my mum some treatment to keep her going, she has chemotherapy twice a year,” she said.

“They are never going to cure it and they do not know how long she will go on for.”

To sponsor her, visit www.justgiving.com/alanagudge

For information about the charity, go to www.ovarian.org.uk