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Sky’s the limit for 10-strong skydive team

Sky’s the limit for 10-strong skydive team

5 July 2012

Not content with swimming the Channel last year, a mother of two from Coton has now organised a 10-strong skydiving team to help fundraise for research into the cancer that killed her mum.

Anna Gomori, 42, has raised over £18,000 for the Pancreatic Cancer Research Fund over the last two and a half years, through a tireless schedule of local music events and physical challenges - including a Channel relay swim in September 2011. But her target is £25,000 and she’s determined to reach it.

The latest challenge takes place on Saturday 07 July at Sibson Airfield in Peterborough, when Anna and nine friends will skydive from 13,000 feet to add at least another £2,000 to her overall target.

Four of the team members live in Coton: Anna, Andy Margetts, Karen Marinho and Kate Cooke (who teaches Anna’s 7-year old son Cosmo at Coton Primary School).  Further teammates include Anna’s dentist, Neel Kothari, Ivor Stewart, a colleague of Anna’s husband, and mother and daughter Su and Heather Tysoe from Hertfordshire - who formed part of Anna’s English Channel relay team last year - plus a friend of theirs, Sarah Fuller. The final team member is Stewart Motley, who has no previous connection to Anna, but who overheard her discussing the event in a health food shop and asked if he could join the team!

Of the 10-strong team, Anna is the only one with any experience of skydiving, having completed two in the past. “This sounds better than what actually happened,” says Anna, who’s terrified of heights. “My husband spent nine months trying to persuade me to do my first one back in the 1990s, and I was so frightened that I completely blanked out everything before the parachute opened and couldn’t remember a thing.” 

Ten years ago, Anna decided to try again. “I did manage to stay alert, but it meant that I can recall every terrifying second of the free-fall part!” she says. “I think I should lead from the front and jump first, but I’m scared stiff and don’t want the others to see!”

Anna’s determination to hit her fundraising target is driven by the memory of her mum, Gudrun Llewellyn, who died of pancreatic cancer in 2006 just four months after her diagnosis, aged 66. Pancreatic cancer has the worst survival rate of any common cancer. Just three people out of every 100 diagnosed will be alive after five years – and this figure hasn’t improved for forty years.

“We felt so helpless while she was ill and we miss her so much,” says Anna. “Raising money and knowing it will help to develop new treatments for this terrible disease has been such a positive thing to do. My mum wasn’t happy about me doing my first or my second skydive when I was younger, but I know she’d be very proud that I’m doing this third one.”

Maggie Blanks, founder of the Pancreatic Cancer Research Fund, said:

"Anna is unstoppable! Her sheer determination always gets her through no matter what goal she sets herself. We’re extremely grateful to her and her fellow skydivers – and I hope they have a wonderful experience!”

Photo courtesy of Skydive Images

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