We did the skydive in memory of my dad,” says Vanessa. In 2004, when Vanessa was pregnant with her first son Barnaby, her father sadly lost his battle to cancer.

She warmly recollects how her Dad and the family received great care and support from Heart of Kent Hospice’s team. “The support we received as a family is something I will never forget. The Hospice really helped us all.”

Vanessa’s day job is graphic designing - she works with the Hospice creating posters, newsletters and promotional material. “As I was designing the skydiving poster, I just thought, this is the year to do it! 4

2021 is a very special year for us - it would have been my parent’s diamond wedding anniversary and I turn 50! Plus, Barnaby turns 18 next year. So, there are a lot of landmark dates!”

Initially, Vanessa didn’t feel too nervous but as the day loomed closer nerves began to set in. “I went through a huge range of emotions in the build-up to the jump. But in the final week before, it really hit home. I had restless sleep and  lots of strange dreams. Even fearless Barnaby started to feel nervous!”

What kept her going was the support of friends and family. “It was lovely to receive encouraging messages from the people who donated. It really spurs you on. Lots of people have been touched by cancer in some way.”

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