This experience has taken me from relieved to proud then from scared to death to completely
I am a bit of an adrenaline junkie at the core but the idea of a wing walk did leave my heart in my
mouth. This combined with life events, you know, marriage, kids and work, left it on the back
Then things changed….. one of my beautiful best friends, Vicki, was diagnosed with breast cancer.
While having hers and her family’s world turned upside down and then settling into the routine of
chemotherapy and further treatment, she, being the amazing person she is, thought outside of her
own cause and took it upon herself to do something positive. She started raising money for the
charity, Prevent Breast Cancer, well over £20,000 at this point.
I didn’t know what to do or say when I found out about Vicki. As a person I am an overthinker and
often worry I am doing the wrong thing. Do I say this or is that daft? Do I ask or is she sick of talking?
Vicki is such a wonderful and very loved person and has support stretching the length and breadth of
the sky. I wanted to do something I knew would help her and her cause……
I started investigating the wing walk and then had heart palpitations so initially looked at other
options. Running was defo out, anyone who knows me is well aware that it would actually be a
miracle if I completed a half marathon. That said, nothing else I looked at felt like it would be a
challenge enough for me to warrant sponsorship. So before I knew what had happened I had booked
the wing walk online, paid the deposit and called Vicki so I couldn’t back out!
I gave myself a good 4 months to raise the money and other than posting on social media and talking
to others about it I did nothing. I decided if I read up on it I would ruin my chosen status ‘ignorance is
In the lead up to the wing walk I raised over £1,300 for Prevent Breast Cancer. The money was still
coming in as I climbed onto the plane.
I was actually at a work function the night before and had to avoid a free bar…. Most disappointing.
It was a good ice breaker for the networking event however.
In the morning I drove from Essex to the Cotswolds and it was only after 3 hours driving that I saw a
tiger moth flipping around in the blue sky …. I was instantly excited which surprised me as I was
The team were fantastic and instantly put me at ease, even watching the safety video and signing
the terms and conditions didn’t faze me. I watched a couple of people go up with my husband and
friend and it just looked like fun.
When it was my turn I was fine. I climbed up onto the plane, and then it was gloves on, ear plugs in
and goggles on. The propeller started and then I was tense – I remember rubbing my hands together
partially as a nervous reaction and partially because I was praying. Take-off was seamless and the
flight was smooth. I was plastered to the plane when we got into the air and it was so cold but it was absolutely amazing. It was literally like being a bird – arms stretched out and looking straight out onto the sky and land below – no window in between me and the air, climbing higher and higher.
I had been asked if I wanted the flight to be tame or more acrobatic and my brain was screaming
‘tame’ but I didn’t want to regret that decision….. so I said go as mental as you like. Correct decision!
The steep climbs and dives made it so much more exciting.
I could tell we were landing and I just wanted to carry on, although I was looking forward to feeling
my face and legs again. I had opted for a GroPro to be attached to the wing and it was great taking a
copy of the video of the whole experience home with me.
I don’t know how many people have wing walked for charity or wing walked at all but I do highly
recommend it. It is a fantastic and unique experience and for me it will always have special meaning.
I have no doubt the charity will put the money to good use to prevent more women going through
what Vicki is. One of my all-time favourite quotes is by Audrey Hepburn, 'Nothing is impossible, the
word itself says possible' yes it is a bit cheesy but it’s true. New experiences and opportunities
happen to people all the time. I completed a bucket list type challenge that day for me, for Vicki and
for Prevent Breast Cancer – I am proud of it. There are so many people out there challenging
themselves for great causes and collectively we can all make a difference and enable new research,
trials and treatments.
Thank you to everyone who has supported me through this challenge, thank you to my husband for
winding me up and keeping it light hearted and thank you to a very inspirational lady who I am
humbled to call my friend.
Check out my Just Giving Page if you fancy donating to this essential cause.
Vicki – your Barmy Army is with you all the way xxx
Guest blogger - Charlotte Rutter