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Preston electrician’s skydiving tribute to beloved gran

Posted on - 31st May, 2023 - 12:00pm | Author - | Posted in - Charities, Fulwood, Health, People, Preston News, Proud Preston, South Ribble News

Preston electrician Luke Walkden paid the highest tribute he could to his beloved late grandma by flying to 14,000ft to make his debut tandem skydive and raise £550 for Rosemere Cancer Foundation.

25-year-old Luke travelled to Grange-over-Sands to jump with Skydive North West, taking with him fiancée Amber, who he will marry in November, parents Stephen and Julie and sister Samantha as his ground support crew.

Luke lost his grandma, Sandra Dodsworth, to lung cancer nine years ago. When Sandra was an in-patient at Rosemere Cancer Centre, Luke, who was sitting his GCSEs at the time, would walk from his school, Fulwood’s Archbishop Temple School, to the centre to sit with her and keep her company. Luke said: “My grandma was the most amazing person I ever met.

“She was both my grandma and my best friend. She would let me get away with all sorts. We used to go up and down the country on adventures. We would go to the Lake District, Lancaster and Yorkshire but our favourite place to go was Blackpool.”

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Luke continued: “On my skydive, I was able to see Blackpool Tower and the Lakeland fells so it was very fitting, especially as it was so close to the anniversary of her passing.”

Sandra’s widower and Luke’s grandad George gave Luke £100 towards his £270 skydiving fee, which Luke covered the cost of himself to maximise his donation to Rosemere Cancer Foundation.

Luke’s donation adds to the £9,000 his family has already raised in Sandra’s name for other cancer charities, among them Macmillan Cancer Support, through events organised by Samantha.

Luke added: “As a family, we would like to thank everyone who has helped in keeping grandma Sandra’s memory alive but we are not stopping here. Sandra’s legacy will go on forever.”

Luke undertaking his skydive

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Rosemere Cancer Foundation works to bring world class cancer treatments and services to cancer patients from throughout Lancashire and South Cumbria being treated at Rosemere Cancer Centre, the region’s specialist cancer treatment and radiotherapy centre at the Royal Preston Hospital, and also at another eight local hospital cancer units across the two counties, including that at Chorley and South Ribble Hospital.

The charity funds cutting-edge equipment, clinical research, staff training and innovative services and initiatives that the NHS cannot afford in order to make patients’ cancer journey more effective, comfortable and stress-free. For further information on its work, including how to make a donation, visit www.rosemere.org.uk

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