Jumping out of a plane at 13,000 feet isn’t something that most of us would fancy doing. However Catherine Bruce, a patient at Northampton General Hospital, wanted to do something daring to raise money for Bowel Cancer UK.
Following a diagnosis of bowel cancer in May 2015, Catherine spent time in hospital receiving treatment to help remove the cancer and relieve her symptoms.
Following her experience she wanted to do something to raise money for Bowel Cancer UK to help fund research and provide support and information for people across the UK.
“I was diagnosed with bowel cancer in May 2015," Catherine said. "In June I underwent an operation with Mr Hunter to remove a cancerous polyp and have a temporary stoma put in.
“Following this the team decided to give me a six month course of chemotherapy to make sure the cancer hadn’t spread into any nooks and crannies in my body. You spend a lot of time getting to know people quite well as you’re going every two weeks. You get carried along with all of the appointments.
“Once the chemo had finished the stoma was reversed and my recovery began. The support and advice I had from everyone in the hospital and NHS was brilliant."
Catherine saw the skydive opportunity on Facebook and managed to fundraise an amazing £4,104 for Bowel Cancer UK, after spending so much time undergoing intensive treatment.
"I’m not afraid of heights and I thought if I can do chemo for six months I can do something that won’t last for more than 20 minutes, so I signed up," she added.
“I set my fundraising target at £750 but people started wanting to sponsor me and slowly the total grew. My husband asked his colleagues at Morrison’s for sponsorship and they helped us to add to the total. The company also gave us £1,000 helping us get to the final total of £4,104.
“The skydive was an amazing experience, it was a beautifully clear day, I was nervous but I was determined to enjoy it. It feels magical. You’re in the middle of the sky and the earth and you’re just floating. I felt so peaceful.
“Had I not been through the bowel cancer experience I wouldn’t have experienced the sky dive. The support from friends, family, acquaintances was overwhelming and that’s shown by the amount of money we’ve raised.”
Following her experience Catherine has been involved in setting up a support group for anyone affected by a diagnosis of bowel cancer and their family and friends.
The group meets bi-monthly at the Kingsthorpe Baptist church. Full details and dates are available on the groups Facebook page Northampton Bowel Cancer Support.
Bowel cancer is the fourth most common cancer in the UK and almost 42,000 people diagnosed every year in the UK.
The symptoms of bowel cancer can include:
-Bleeding from your bottom and/or blood in your poo
- A persistent and unexplained change in bowel habit
- Unexplained weight loss
- Extreme tiredness for no obvious reason
- A pain or lump in your tummy
- Many people with the above symptoms don’t have bowel cancer however if things don’t feel right please go and see your GP.