Widow skydives for local hospice in memory of husband

Julie Swift took the plunge to raise money for St Barnabas Hospice after they cared for her husband at home

A local woman whose husband died soon after he was diagnosed with an aggressive form of skin cancer has completed a parachute jump to boost funds for the charity who helped care for him in his final days.

Julie Swift’s husband Chris died on 30th July 2010 aged 45, only seven months after being diagnosed with melanoma, which spread to his bones and brain.

The father-of-two, who was affectionately known as “Swifty”, served as a retained firefighter in his home town of Wragby and is described by his wife as “a big character who was always there for people.”

Julie, 50, decided she wanted to raise money for St Barnabas Hospice to thank them for caring for her husband in their own home and allowing her family to stay together.

She said: “A skydive is something I have always wanted to do and it was a brilliant way for me to commemorate what should have been our 30th wedding anniversary. It was a thrilling and exhilarating experience and I know that Chris would have been proud of me.

“It was wonderful to be able to raise money for St Barnabas and give something back for the special care they had given to Chris and our family.”

She described how important it was for her husband to be cared for at at home and how their two sons, aged 14 and 16, were able to spend precious time with their dad.

Julie said: “St Barnabas really did make all the difference and with their support, Chris was able to remain at home, where he belonged and where he felt most comfortable. It was nice for the boys to be able to spend time with their dad without the restrictions of visiting times, it felt more natural somehow.

“Before St Barnabas started I had been looking after Chris on my own and I had started to feel quite isolated. It was a real relief when they started to visit and having their support and someone to talk to meant that I was better able to support Chris and our sons.”

Julie has raised over £2,700 from her skydive and other fundraising initiatives such as a cake sale, raffle and taking part in the charity’s upcoming Colour Dash.

The jump took place on 4th September 2016 at Hibaldstow Airfield in North Lincolnshire where she jumped from 15,000 feet.

Sign-up to a St Barnabas skydive and help to fund the specialist end of life care the charity delivers across Lincolnshire:

• The Big Birthday Skydive – 11th June at Hibaldstow Airfield

• Sunday 9th July – Langar Airfield

• Sunday 10th September – Hibaldstow Airfield

For more information or to sign up to a skydive please contact Harriet Hickin on 01522 540 300 or email harriet.hickin@stbarnabashospice.co.uk

Alternatively sign-up at www.StBarnabasHospice.co.uk

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