Fearless Diss gran up for charity abseil

A fearless great-grandmother is set to take on her biggest challenge after signing up to an abseil to help fellow Parkinson's patients.

Pauline Cooke, from Diss, was diagnosed with the degenerative disease 10 years ago, but it has not stopped her from raising thousands of pounds for charity.

The 72-year-old said she was gearing up for her last big fundraising effort after announcing plans to abseil down 10 storeys of Ipswich Hospital's maternity unit.

Mrs Cooke, who hopes to generate more than �2,000 from the event on July 10, is raising money for the Dunston ward at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital and the brain repair centre at Addenbrooke's Hospital in Cambridge.

The grandmother of six and great-grandmother of four will be doing the charity abseil with her son-in-law Kevin Griffin and granddaughter Primrose Graham, who will be raising money for the EACH hospice at Quidenham and Cancer Research UK respectively.

Mrs Cooke, who has raised more than �3,000 from two sponsored swims in the past, said she had a head for heights.

'I am looking forward to this abseil, but people say I'm crazy. I have done the sponsored swims and that took it out of me and I know this will take it out of me.'

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'It [Parkinson's] has slowed me down a lot. I know they won't find a cure in my lifetime, but it would be great if they can find a cure to help someone else. I used to care for Parkinson's patients before I retired and it is not pleasant,' she said.

Anyone wishing to sponsor Mrs Cooke can contact her on 01379 640320.