GEMMA Town can’t do a skydive as she is recovering from a brain op – so her friends and family will take the plunge for her.
The 30-year-old, who has two young sons, says she owes her life to surgeons who removed a tumour from her brain two years ago.
Once she had made a full recovery, Gemma decided she wanted to give something back to the neurological centre at Southampton General Hospital by doing a charity skydive.
But Gemma’s surgery meant she could not take on the challenge, so family and friends rallied round and said they would take the leap for her.
Tomorrow, Gemma’s brother Steve Thatcher, her uncle Phil Logie, brother-in-law Simon Kill, cousin Gavin Stockley, and friend Phill Bone will be jumping thousands of feet from a plane to raise money for Smile4Wessex, which raises money for the Wessex Neurological Centre at Southampton hospital.
‘I am so glad they are doing the skydive for me,’ said Gemma, of Lodge Road, Bedhampton.
‘I really wanted to do it myself, to say thank you to the consultants for saving my life and giving me my life back with my two young sons. But I couldn’t so I appreciate my family and friends stepping in.’
Gemma was 28 years old when she was diagnosed with a benign tumour.
She had to undergo a 10- hour operation at the neurological centre, which treats patients across the region, and went on to make a full recovery.
Gemma, who worked for the Smile4Wessex charity fundraising office for a year, said: ‘It was traumatic finding out in your 20s you have a brain tumour but with the amazing support from my family and friends, and the consultants, I made a full recovery.
‘I feel lucky to have had my operation at the Wessex Neurological Centre.’
Gemma’s skydive team have already raised more than £3,200 for Smile4Wessex.
Gemma’s uncle Phil said: ‘We’re all a bit nervous to be honest, but we’re looking forward to it as well. It’s a way for us all to say thank you to the centre for looking after Gemma too.’
If you would like to sponsor the group visit bmycharity.com/plunge4wessex