This year I decided to do a Wing Walk to raise much needed funds for Macmillan Cancer Support… so why a wing walk…. And why Macmillan…
I’m a 6 year survivor of cervical cancer…. I had first hand experience of the invaluable support and services Macmillan provide to people living with Cancer and to their families/ friends/carers.
When I got the All Clear 6 years ago I pledged to do all I could to raise awareness and funds for Macmillan…. In the first 4 years I raised £20,000!
Then this year Cancer made it personal… again with my Dad being diagnosed with prostate cancer and my cousin being diagnosed with a terminal brain tumour.
I pledged to go the extra mile and push even harder this year….I did a hike, Art Exhibition, Quiz, fundraising events… but my main challenge had to be spectacular….. last year I did a skydive…. So how do you beat that….. well with a wing walk obviously!!!
Now what you also need to know is I’m petrified of heights!!
A local business, Ifor Williams Traiers Ltd sponsored me by paying for the wing walk and the filming of this so all the money I raised would go to Macmillan!
I decided to dedicate the wing walk to my cousin, Mark Weeks as he was fighting a battle he could not win - it takes a special type of person to do this and he did it with strength, dignity and bravery and the majority of the time with a smile on his face! So it was known as Wing Walk for Weeksy!
He was also a paratrooper so I felt it was fitting!
We had some real fun in the run up…. We got T-shirts printed, photos taken to advertise it and it gave us a goal to achieve and I hope proved to be a distraction at times for him!
The local press supported us greatly which was appreciated and I also got nominated for a Pride of Britain Award for fundraiser of the year and made the final four in the region!
So to the day of the Wing Walk!! Arghhh!
Unfortunately Mark wasn’t well enough to make the journey but we kept in touch with everyone via posting videos and messages on social media!
I knew we had raised approx £7,000 and the money and messages of good luck were pouring in!
The weather was very good to us…. Clear blue skies, no rain but a bit breezy!
The Team at Rendcomb Aerosuperbatics were amazing with us! They reassured me, prepared me and truly looked after me in the time we spent with them!
I had my Dad, son and best friend with me for support!
I had my training and safety session which put me at ease….. well a little bit anyways… then the time came for me to get on that plane!!!
There is no escaping it you are on your own on top of that plane…. I felt as safe and secure as you can do….. but I truly believe I harnessed some of my cousin’s strength, bravery and courage up there with me! I had our Wing Walk for Weeksy top on and my Welsh boxer shorts in homage to him and off we went…. It’s a bit bumpy running up to take off but then you are up, up, up and away!!!
The pilot had told me the more fun I looked like I was having the longer we would stay up and the more fun he would have! To be fair he also told me if I wanted to go down just do the thumbs down signal…. Well that wasn’t going to happen! There was a lot of money raised for this and it was dedicated to my cousin and I so wanted to do him proud!
I put my arms out and lifted my leg (the wing walk pose), when I saw the spectators I saluted, thumped my arms up in the air, did the pose and my thumbs were definitely up!!
It’s got to be the most surreal, scary but exhilarating thing I have ever done!
The views also very spectacular!
Then it came time to land! I cannot lie it was a relief to feel the descent coming and to get my wobbly legs and feet back onto the ground! But Wowsers was I buzzing the Adrenaline definitely kicked in!
The videos were spectacular and would prove to be a very emotional watch the day after in the after party with my family and friends! But specifically my cousin who was so proud of me as we sat together to watch it….
Unfortunately my cousin sadly lost his battle in September of this year but we will never forget him and I will ensure every year I do something fitting in his memory to raise funds.
My total to date this year is reaching a Mahoosive £20,000 which will be part of his legacy!
The Wing Walk was a massive part of this year and though it was terrifying I would highly recommend it to anyone as there is nothing quite like it….. who knows I may even revisit as next time I would able to loop the loop too….. !!!
Here is my Just Giving Page link should anyone want to donate…. It would be truly appreciated!!
Guest blogger - Ali Alcock