Bishop’s Stortford mum and son set to skydive for dementia research

19 April 2018

Jumping out of a plane may not seem like a traditional family activity, but that isn’t stopping Karen Gooding and her 27-year-old son Adam from doing it on Saturday 21 April.

Karen and Adam are taking on the skydive to raise funds for Alzheimer’s Research UK because Karen’s Auntie Pam passed away from vascular dementia last June. The pair have already raised £1,200 for dementia research.

Adam and Karen

Adam and Karen

Karen has always wanted to do a skydive and has been a fan of adrenaline fuelled challenges for some time. When she was in her thirties, she completed a challenge called the Awesome Foursome in New Zealand, which involved a jet boating ride on the Shotover river, whitewater rafting, a helicopter flight and a bungee jump.

However she hasn’t had enough adrenaline yet and was delighted when Adam bought her a voucher for a skydive for her last birthday. As Pam’s death was so recent, the pair decided to put it to good use.

Adam decided to join his mum in her skydive to boost fundraising. Since then, the donations have blown the pair away.

The 54-year-old and her son feel strongly about the need to fund more research into dementia with the goal of finding new treatments for future generations.

Karen said:

“Pam knew that she was struggling, but her daughters really had to give a push to get her to see her GP, and she was so frightened when she eventually did go. That was the start of what turned into an incredibly long and distressing journey for her.

“It was heartbreaking for her loved ones – especially her four daughters – to watch her deteriorate.

“We are doing this skydive so we can raise vital funds for research. We need to find a cure for this dreadful condition soon.”

Adam said:

“I remember visiting Pam a few years after her diagnosis and she could no longer remember me. It was my first time dealing with a scenario like that and it had a huge impact on me. It really hit home for us all and was clearly so hard on her daughters.”

Karen and Adam are starting to feel the nerves creeping in ahead of the skydive, but they are also excited.

Karen said:

“I’m nervous, but I’m also really excited. It means so much to us to be raising funds for Alzheimer’s Research UK through this skydive so that’s going to give us the drive to actually jump out once we’re up there!”

Adam said:

“I’m not really afraid of heights so I’m not too scared, but I think I will be once we go up. I think we’ll both be terrified once we’re up in the air!

Lindsay Gray, Regional Fundraising Officer at Alzheimer’s Research UK said:

“We would like to say a huge thanks to Karen and Adam for taking on this skydive to raise funds for Alzheimer’s Research UK.

“There are now over 850,000 living with dementia in the UK, and this number is expected to rise to over 1 million by 2025. Our mission is to find the first life changing treatment for dementia by 2025, and this would not be possible without the amazing fundraising efforts of people like Karen and Adam.”