The plucky grandmother of a 20-year-old man with a devastating muscle-wasting condition is calling on Watford daredevils to kick off the spring with a 10,000 ft plunge, helping to raise funds to develop promising potential treatments.
England powerchair football star, Stevie Pearson from Watford, has Duchenne muscular dystrophy, a life-shortening genetic condition which causes muscles to waste away over time, causing an increasing level of disability and eventually affecting the heart and respiratory system.
His gran, Linda Harman, has joined Stevie in asking local people to back national charity, the Muscular Dystrophy Campaign’s Make Today Count event on March 1.
The event will see 100 people skydive at sites around the UK, in recognition of the 100 children born each year with the condition. Linda herself took part in the event last year.
Dare-devils wishing to join the Make Today Count sky-divers, dubbed Team 100, will be asked to raise £399 sponsorship for their efforts, and can choose from a variety of skydive sites across England, Scotland and Wales.
Those without a head for heights can also support the campaign by sponsoring divers, backing other local Make Today Count fundraising events on the day or organising their own.
It is hoped that Team 100 will raise £50,000 for the Muscular Dystrophy Campaign’s Duchenne Research Breakthrough Fund, set up to provide funding for leading scientists working on promising potential treatments for Duchenne muscular dystrophy.
Linda said: "I took part in the Make Today Count Skydive last year and it was a brilliant day.
"It was a totally amazing experience; my instructor was exceptionally kind explaining the procedure and I felt safe - even when he explained that as there were no clouds we were going even higher to 14,000ft.
"I really hope people will take on the challenge this year and skydive on March 1 to help the Muscular Dystrophy Campaign continue to fund groundbreaking research. It could help to change the lives of hundreds of boys and men like Stevie for the better."
Laura Watts the Muscular Dystrophy Campaign’s Watford Volunteer Fundraising Manager, said: "For those feeling brave, Make Today Count is an opportunity to take on an unforgettable - if hair-raising - experience with other daredevils of all ages from across the region.
"Places are filling up fast so I’d encourage anyone interested in skydiving to get in touch now.
"However, anybody can get involved on March 1, whether you feel daring enough to join Team 100 or would prefer to keep your fundraising feet firmly on the ground. Either way, you will be helping us to support vital research, which could change the lives of hundreds of children living with Duchenne muscular dystrophy."
To find out more visit www.muscular-dystrophy.org/maketodaycount or call 0845 872 9058.