Sisters tackle tandem skydives from 10,000ft after dad from Leighton Buzzard gets brain cancer diagnosis

He woke up with a severe headache and a foul but inexplicable taste and smell
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Two sisters jumped out of a plane to raise vital funds for a charity close to their hearts.

Sophie and Becki Penwright completed tandem skydives from 10,000ft on Sunday (September 3), taking off from and landing at Hinton Airfield in Brackley, West Northamptonshire.

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Becki and Sophie Penwright after their jumpBecki and Sophie Penwright after their jump
Becki and Sophie Penwright after their jump

The siblings, who are aged 25 and 22 respectively, used their jump to raise funds for Brain Tumour Research, inspired by their dad Simon, who was diagnosed with brain cancer earlier this year.

Simon – an operations director from Stewkley – was given a prognosis of just 12 months when he was diagnosed with a multifocal glioblastoma (GBM) after waking in January with a severe headache and a foul but inexplicable taste and smell, later identified as seizure auras.

The 52-year-old underwent surgery, followed by three weeks of high-dose radiotherapy and chemotherapy, and is now undergoing further chemo.

Sophie, a personal assistant, said: “We wanted to do something to raise money for the charity, and our friends and family had pretty much everything else covered, from marathon runs and bike rides, to a charity football match taking place this weekend. We wanted to do something no-one else in our group had done and a skydive was on Becki’s bucket list, so made sense.

Simon Penwright was given a prognosis of just 12 months when he was diagnosed with a multifocal glioblastoma (GBM)Simon Penwright was given a prognosis of just 12 months when he was diagnosed with a multifocal glioblastoma (GBM)
Simon Penwright was given a prognosis of just 12 months when he was diagnosed with a multifocal glioblastoma (GBM)

“We were terrified in the days and weeks leading up to it and, every time someone asked us about it, we dodged the question, but on the day itself we accepted we were going to do it and enjoyed it as much as possible.

“On the way up, we kept looking at each other; it was nice to have that support from someone going through the same thing. I jumped first and Becki said she heard me scream, so that was probably a good thing.

“It was really beautiful from up there, and the weather was lovely too. I was so excited to land and then I saw Becki come down two minutes later, which was great.”

So far, the pair – from Bedford – have raised more than £2,640, which is almost enough to sponsor a day of research at one of the charity’s four Centres of Excellence, each day costing £2,740.

Sophie Penwright and her instructor (Picture: Helen Spratley)Sophie Penwright and her instructor (Picture: Helen Spratley)
Sophie Penwright and her instructor (Picture: Helen Spratley)

Sophie said: “We’ve been completely blown away by everyone’s generosity. We started with a target of £2,000 and didn’t honestly think we’d get that much, but we decided to aim high – go big or go home as the saying goes. Now we’re so close, it would be amazing to get the final £100 needed to fund an entire day of research.”

Tomorrow’s five-a-side football tournament will take place at Cedars Upper School, Leighton Buzzard, from 2pm, with a veterans match kicking off at noon.

Former Luton Town and Southampton FC goalkeeper Kelvin Davis will also be there.