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Wendy faces her fears for a good cause

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By DnG Newsdesk
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ONE giant leap for a Dumfries woman has helped confront her fears, raising well over £800 for charity in the process.

Wendy Ackroyd has long had a fear of heights, so describes deciding to parachute from 11,000 ft in support of the Motor Neurone Disease Association as ‘kill or cure’.
The lead clinical pharmacist for mental health said: “Doing a skydive is something I’ve always wanted to do; it’s kind’ve been in the back of my mind.
“I was thinking of my plans, making goals for the future. I said to a friend at work that I really want to do a skydive, but I need to pick a charity.
“And then that day, one of my friends from the College of Mental Health pharmacy posted a thing about Motor Neurone Disease Jumpfest on Facebook.”
Wendy, 43, added: “Her husband was dying of Motor Neurone Disease at the time, and my granny’s sister had it, so I was aware of the illness.”
Seizing the opportunity, Wendy signed up as one of over 35 people jumping for Motor Neurone Disease across seven different drop zones, and began fundraising paying the costs of the jump herself.
Her initial scheduled jump the previous weekend was called off due to the weather, but on Sunday she travelled down to the Black Knights Parachute Centre in Cockerham, Lancaster.
Wendy faced a six hour wait after arriving, but eventually boarding the light aircraft said: “You face your fears, and I’m one for believing you should do something that scares you once in a while.
“And oh my God, I was scared.”
Falling out of the plane, attached to instructor Lee, Wendy said: “All of a sudden you’ve got 11,000ft of nothing in front of you, and the ground, and that’s seriously when your heart rate goes.”
But despite an initial expletive, finding it hard to catch her breath against the rushing wind, and describing an extreme version of the stomach-lurching experience of a fairground ride, Wendy soon find herself enjoying the experience.
Describing her jump as ‘amazing’, with a clear view of the Blackpool Tower, and grinning all the way down, Wendy says she can see herself skydiving again.
She said: “I’d want to go higher next time, to get more experience of the freefall.”
To support Wendy’s effort, visit the website www.justgiving.com/Wendy-Ackroyd

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