Former school friends’ skydive raises over £2500 for Yorkshire Cancer Research

Date: 08 October 2021

Two North Yorkshire women have raised more than £2500 for Yorkshire Cancer Research after completing a charity skydive.

Hannah Tyler-Graham and Kate Aikman organised the jump because they wanted to do “something big” to raise awareness of cancer in Yorkshire, which is a cause close to both their hearts.

Kate, from Harrogate, said: “I wanted to do something that was completely out of my comfort zone. Skydiving is not something people do every day and I felt it could raise a lot of money for the charity.”

The 19-year-olds, who set their sights on completing a skydive several years ago, finally took to the skies in August. The pair self-funded the jump, which meant that all the money raised in sponsorship went directly to Yorkshire Cancer Research.

Hannah and Kate, who are friends from school and now work together, said that it was an “amazing experience”.

Hannah said:

“It was honestly incredible. We were both so happy afterwards. It’s an experience like no other and I’ll probably never do anything like that again. I was just ecstatic.”

“It was probably the best thing I’ve ever done,” Kate added.

Yorkshire Cancer Research is an important charity to both women, and Kate’s mum has previously raised money for the charity by shaving off her hair.

Hannah, who is from York, said: “We really liked that Yorkshire Cancer Research funds work in the local community to improve the lives of people living with cancer in Yorkshire.

“We originally set out fundraising target at £750 but we weren’t sure we’d raise that much, and then we hit it really quickly and since then it’s just grown and grown.”

Family and friends have been incredibly supportive, despite their initial nerves at being told about the skydive.

Kate said: “My parents didn’t want to come and watch me at first because they were so worried, especially my dad, but they’ve really supported me in the build up to the jump.”

Kate’s dad was first diagnosed with a brain tumour in 1991 and has since been diagnosed with colon cancer.  

She said: “He is now living with cancer, yet you would never know unless you knew my dad well. I have never heard him complain and he continues to be so positive. He really is a true inspiration.

“It makes me so happy to know that I was raising funds to support both my dad and other people with cancer.”  

Kate’s grandmother was also diagnosed with lung cancer, which was found early, and she has since been successfully treated.

“Like many people, my gran has been extremely lucky that after being diagnosed with cancer she is continuing to live a happy life due to the incredible developments in cancer treatment.”

Hannah has also been touched by cancer, as two of her grandparents sadly passed away after being diagnosed. She decided to do the skydive after losing her grandad to cancer.

She said: “Cancer has affected my family for a long time, which is why I feel it is so important to raise awareness of cancer in Yorkshire.”

The money raised from the skydive will fund vital research to help prevent, diagnose and treat cancer in Yorkshire.

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