Parachuting pensioner’s charity skydive

Alan and Reita Baird pictured with staff at the Sir Robert Ogden Macmillan Centre at Harrogate District Hospital. (S)
Alan and Reita Baird pictured with staff at the Sir Robert Ogden Macmillan Centre at Harrogate District Hospital. (S)
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A pensioner from Knaresborough is to take to the skies in an attempt to raise £1,000 for the cancer centre which is caring for his wife.

Alan Baird, 78, successfully battled kidney and pancreatic cancer in 2004 but his wife Reita is currently receiving treatment for Myeloma at the Sir Robert Ogden Macmillan Centre at Harrogate District Hospital.

Alan and Reita, of Knaresborough, have been so impressed with the care that they have received at the hospital and the new cancer centre in particular, that they wanted to give something back.

Alan has done a previous sky dive for a cancer charity and hopes this one, taking place on Monday, will be just as successful.

“Both Reita and I have been cancer patients at Harrogate District Hospital,” he said. “The care given by the whole team has been exceptional and we wanted to do our bit to say thank you to the wonderful staff.

“We have been particularly impressed by the new Sir Robert Ogden Macmillan Centre where Reita is currently receiving her treatment. It seemed right to raise some money to support the work that it does.

“I have done a sky dive before and although some people are surprised by me taking on another at my age, I don’t believe that age is any barrier to doing what you want to.”

The £9m Sir Robert Ogden Macmillan Centre was opened officially in October by the Countess of Halifax, president of Macmillan Cancer Support and Christine Talbot from ITV’s Calendar, who has had her own cancer experience.

It was funded through a £3.5m personal donation from Sir Robert Ogden, £3.5m from Macmillan Cancer Support and a further £2m from Harrogate and District NHS Foundation Trust.

Anyone who wishes to sponsor Alan on his sky dive can do so by searching for “Alan Baird skydive” on justgiving.com