Portsmouth woman takes to skies in memory of friend who died of cancer aged 22

Watch more of our videos on Shots! 
and live on Freeview channel 276
Visit Shots! now
Georgia Bettam, 23, from Portsmouth, is doing a Skydive this July for the charity Teenage Cancer Trust in memory of her friend Jack Beames. Jack, from Gosport, died of cancer earlier this year in February, aged just 22.

Jack was supported by Teenage Cancer Trust throughout his treatment, and Georgia is now appealing for donations for her skydive, which will take place at an army parachute base in Wiltshire, to help the charity support other young people with cancer.

On their friendship, Georgia said: “I met Jack three years ago through a car enthusiasts’ group. He had a blue fiesta ST which he called Cherry. We met up regularly and he loved his car so much and was always in it. We both loved cats and we bonded over that too.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

“He told us that he’d had Ewing Sarcoma when he was 14 and had been to America for Proton Beam Therapy but had been well for years.

Jack and GeorgiaJack and Georgia
Jack and Georgia

“But in 2022 Jack started getting nose bleeds and dizziness. A scan showed that he had a rare sinonasal cancer and was treated until August 2023 for this. After Christmas he was told that two of his vertebrae in his back had collapsed due to cancer being within them. The severity of the diagnosis meant that there was no appropriate treatment for Jack.”

Jack’s loved ones were devastated, but Jack was determined to live as normal as life as possible.

Georgia said: “He wanted to do everything he possibly could and still went to the car meet ups. We struggled to get him out of his car.”

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Support from Teenage Cancer Trust helped Jack through the hard times.

Georgia explains: “Jack had most of his treatment at the Teenage Cancer Trust unit at Southampton General Hospital. He really liked it there and was really comfortable. We went in to visit him and he showed us the chill out areas, which were really nice. He also made friends with other people his age who had cancer and who understood what he was going through. It made him feel less alone.”

Sadly, the treatment stopped working and Jack’s health deteriorated further.

She added: “He wanted to be at home when the end came. I went to visit him there to say my goodbyes. He passed away on February 24th, 2024.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

“He didn’t want traditional funeral cars, so the hearse was followed by his friends in their modified cars. The men all wore blue ties, because Jack loved his blue Fiesta, and I wore a blue bow in my hair. This all made his funeral more personal.

“Jack had a spot on Portsdown Hill that he loved going to in his car. His mum and dad, his best friends Marley, Owen and I spend time there since he passed away. We talk about him and remember the good times.”

It was Jack that suggested Georgia do the skydive in aid of Teenage Cancer Trust.

Georgia said: “I’d told Jack I wanted to do a skydive and he suggested that I did it for Teenage Cancer Trust. It’s nice that he knew that I’m doing the skydive for the charity. I may be scared on the day, but it’s nothing compared to what Jack had to go through.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

“I originally set myself a target of raising £500, but I quickly exceeded that and my JustGiving page is now at over £1,200. Raising money for this charity is a way of saying thank you to the charity for keeping Jack and his family comfortable during the endless days and nights they spent there and to help others in the same situation Jack was in before he sadly lost his battle to cancer.

“Jack always wanted to raise awareness about cancer too, so I’m proud to be doing that in his legacy. He would encourage people to not take no for an answer if there were any symptoms that concerned them. We know our own bodies the best and know if something is wrong, so we need to get answers.

“Jack is loved and missed so much by his mum, dad, family and friends.”

Every year across the South Coast, 110 young people aged 13-24 are diagnosed with cancer. Like Jack, 80% will be treated on the Teenage Cancer Trust unit at Southampton General Hospital, a bright welcoming area where young people can have private rooms and access to recreation facilities, which is staffed by specially trained nurses and youth support workers.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

In addition, the charity funds outreach nurses and workers work support young people at other hospitals in the region, and in the community. It costs Teenage Cancer Trust over £560k every year to keep its vital services in the area running.

Comment Guidelines

National World encourages reader discussion on our stories. User feedback, insights and back-and-forth exchanges add a rich layer of context to reporting. Please review our Community Guidelines before commenting.