WHEN Mel de Lacy was given a life-changing cancer diagnosis in 2016, she embarked on a selfless awareness mission.
The 49-year-old mother-of-two from Chichester was told she had Leiomyosarcoma, a rare form of Sarcoma, after discovering a tumour the size of a small football in her right lung.
There is no clear-cut cure, but charity Sarcoma UK estimates 10 people are diagnosed with it every day.
But Mel has battled to change that, raising £55,000 for the initiative through her platform Let Me Be Me over the past two years.
Less than a fortnight ago that effort was bolstered by seven colleagues at Spire Hospital Portsmouth, in Havant, after they leapt out a plane at 15,000ft in a sponsored skydive.
Taking on the title of ‘Mel’s Skydiving Warriors’, their bravery collected more than £1,500 and raised awareness in high-octane style.
‘I felt like a proud mum when I watched them land – it really is an amazing achievement,’ said Mel.
‘I was initially given a 12-to-18-month prognosis but I have outlived that, so I just try to keep my head up.
‘And it’s brilliant people like this who just keep me going through everything.’
The seven pals who took part in the skydive on September 7 were Sarah Waters, Ty Kinger, Sarah King, Carol Longland, Gill Rankin, Natasha Millerchip and Matt Papworth.
After free-falling at 125mph for a minute, then parachuting to the landing spot for two minutes, they said: ‘There is no way to describe the feeling of falling.
‘We are proud to be Mel’s Skydiving Warriors and help support her in her venture to raise awareness and much needed funds for Sarcoma UK.’
With no plan to stop fundraising for Sarcoma UK anytime soon, Mel will join a group of friends in tandem-cycling around the Isle of Wight on October 7.
She said: ‘I’m very excited. I’ll be on the back of one of the tandem bikes with my feet up, but my boss, Matt, will take us around.’
Online donations to Mel’s Skydiving Warriors, via GoFundMe, are still open.
You can donate by clicking here.