A charity skydive earlier this month became a real family affair.
Former Corby woman Cat Anderson is believed to be the first brain tumour patient to complete a skydive featuring three generations of her own family, after she jumped out of a plane with her dad and grandmother.
What’s more, it was dad Rab’s second skydive in 12 months, despite him having a fear of heights.
Cat, 37, who now lives in Uppingham, was diagnosed with an aggressive brain tumour in 2014, and since, along with members of her family, has set up fundraising group Cat in a Hat to raise funds for Brain Tumour Research.
Rab, from Kettering, and Cat threw themselves out of a plane two miles up in the air over Sibson airfield, Peterborough, on Saturday, September 3, along with Cat’s grandmother, Cathy Anderson, a plucky 76-year-old from Glasgow.
To date, the trio have already raised about £3,500 for Brain Tumour Research.
Also taking part in the skydive were five family friends, including Chris Dunne, Tony Collins and Rachel Smith, all from Corby.
Rab said: “I felt much better this year about the skydive – I was more worried about my mum and Cat.
“It wasn’t until I was in the plane that I thought ‘why am I putting myself through this again?’
“Then I thought about how brave Cat is and what she has been through since being diagnosed.
“We desperately need to find more effective treatments and ultimately a cure for brain tumours which kill more children and adults under the age of 40 than any other cancer, yet just one per cent of the national spend on cancer research has been allocated to this devastating disease.
Cat said: “In the past the thought of throwing myself from a plane made me weak at the knees, but after my dad managed to brave it last year, I thought what the hell, why not? I’ve only got my life to lose! Haha!
“I’ve surprised myself at how calm I was about the whole thing– I was actually looking forward to it.
“Added to that, I didn’t want to show myself up in front of Granny Anderson!
“She is pretty fearless and no stranger to a challenge, having run numerous 10k and half marathons, as well as the full Edinburgh marathon.
“I absolutely loved every minute of the whole experience and would definitely do it again.”
“I have been told my brain tumour is terminal, but I am not going anywhere – I have the most amazing family including my son Robert and my partner James and I have so many things I want to do with my life, not least helping to find a cure.”
Head of community fundraising for Brain Tumour Research Carol Robertson said: “Cat and her family are among our most dedicated supporters – and I can’t believe, knowing Rab and his absolute terror of heights, that he has mustered up the courage to undertake a second skydive, this time with his mum and daughter.
“We are so thankful for their continuing efforts to fund vital research in our Centres of Excellence. Cat is truly inspirational.
“Brain Tumour Research is striving to fund a network of seven dedicated research centres whilst challenging the government and larger cancer charities to invest more in brain tumour research.
“Help us fund the fight. Together we will find a cure.”
If you are inspired to help the Anderson family and Cat in a Hat raise vital funds for research you can donate via the following links:
For Cat Anderson
For Rab Anderson
For Cathy Anderson.