Swaffham grandmother’s great leap for charity

PUBLISHED: 14:39 08 August 2014 | UPDATED: 14:39 08 August 2014

Betty Read is doing a charity skydive. Picture: Ian Burt

Betty Read is doing a charity skydive. Picture: Ian Burt

Archant © 2014

A Swaffham grandmother is set to take the plunge in a 15,000ft skydive to help repay the care she received at a cancer unit.

Betty Read, 70, has spent a lot of time in the Queen Elizabeth Hospital’s chemotherapy room since she started receiving treatment there two-and-a-half years ago.

Now she has decided to thank the dedicated staff in daredevil style – by jumping out of an aeroplane to raise funds for a new chemotherapy pump.

“I’ve always thought it would be an exciting thing to do since I was a teenager and you see all the paratroopers and so on,” she said. “It must be a super feeling. To be flying as high as a bird and free.

“A lot of people were surprised when they heard – not my family though, they know what I am like.

“I might be scared when I get up there and have a look but at the moment I’m not afraid at all. Once you are in the plane the only way is down.”

Mrs Read suffers from a rare form of cancer – mantle cell lymphoma – and decided the time was right to achieve a lifelong dream. While her cancer is inoperable, chemotherapy is able to keep it at bay and she receives top-up treatments at the hospital in King’s Lynn every eight weeks.

She said: “They are absolutely brilliant there. How they keep themselves jolly I don’t know but they are always happy to see you and treat each person as an individual. They are very special people, they really are.”

A chemotherapy pump, which is used to administer daily medication at the appropriate rate for patients, costs £3,830 and Mrs Read is determined to raise as much as possible towards that.

The retired carer has already raised more than her £1,000 target with more still to come in.

Mrs Read said: “Everybody has been absolutely brilliant, they have been so generous. I’ve had people come up to me in the street to give me money.

“If we can get enough for half a pump then that means someone else can raise the other half.”

To sponsor Mrs Read visit

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