Octogenarian to sky dive for hospital fund

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Dare devil fundraiser Barry Parker is going to great heights to help his local hospital.

The intrepid 80-year-old - who grew up in Eston but who now lives in Northallerton - is taking the plunge on Wednesday August 26 at 11.30am with Skydive St George at Durham Tees Valley Airport.

Barry, who likes to try and keep fit and healthy and enjoys his daily walk, is experiencing the exhilaration of sky diving for the first time to help the Friarage Hospital’s MRI scanner appeal.

There is a history of cancer in the family and Barry’s two daughters, 47-year-old Elizabeth Auble, of Harrogate, and Ruth Parker have both had genetic testing and preventative treatment to reduce their risk.

Barry is taking on this massive challenge to give something back and help make a difference.

He said: “Cancer has caused havoc among my relatives and friends and respects no one.

“The loss of a loved one never goes away and we all know family and friends who have been affected by cancer in some way.

“A parachute jump at my age could be regarded as foolish and unnecessary, what makes it necessary is the need to swell funds for the MRI scanner, urgently required at our much-respected Friarage Hospital.

“I am looking forward to my sky dive and to a new experience and adventure.”

He added: “I really hope people will donate generously to the scanner appeal and help a local good cause.”

Daughter Elizabeth said: ”When Dad celebrated his 80th birthday recently I mentioned he needed to get out and about a bit more and start living life to the full.

“Little did I realise he had this on his mind and you can imagine my shock and surprise when he said he was going to do a sky dive. I thought he was joking!

“I could not be more proud of him and think it is fantastic he is going to take on such a breath-taking challenge for a cause he believes in.”

To help Barry achieve his goal donate at his just giving site www.justgiving.com/barry-parker-skydiver.