Friends take 10,000ft scary plunge for St Catherine’s

Pictured front (from left): Steve Swales and Steve Elders. Back row (from left): Rachael, Lee, Michael and Christina.
Pictured front (from left): Steve Swales and Steve Elders. Back row (from left): Rachael, Lee, Michael and Christina.

Two lifelong Whitby friends who both hope to have won their battle with cancer will be celebrating their 60th birthdays together by jumping from a plane for a Halloween scare to help the hospice.

Steve Elder and his friend, joiner Steve Swales, decided on their skydive because they say they realise just how lucky they have been after successfully completing cancer treatment.

The men, who have been friends since their schooldays, decided to do something dramatic for Saint Catherine’s after being inspired by courageous hospice fundraiser Kevin Graham.

Kevin launched his own appeal for the hospice after being diagnosed with cancer soon after losing close three relatives to the same disease in the space of a year.

After he died, the fundraising in his name continued and has already topped £15,000.

Steve Elder’s wife Christina, son Michael, daughter Rachael and her partner, Lee, all signed up too and all six will now be making the leap from 10,000ft.

“We know how lucky we’ve been,” Steve Elder said. “I lost both my parents with cancer and what happened to Kevin Graham was terrible. We just wanted to do something to help the hospice.”

Steve isn’t sure how he’ll react in the moments before his Hallowe’en skydive.

“I’m a scaffolder by trade working at sea on the rigs so I’m not bad with heights but 10,000ft will be a bit different!” he said.

n The skydivers are collecting sponsorship via JustGiving. Steve Elder’s address is http://justgiving.com/stephen-elder.