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Eltham mum sky dives for son

PUBLISHED: 17:29 08 September 2011 | UPDATED: 10:32 09 September 2011

Deanne Farmer

Deanne Farmer

Archant

A mum had to step in to do a charity sky dive in aid of her son after her father and brother who were confirmed to do it had to back out.

Deanne Farmer, 38, from Eltham, saved the day after jumping out of a Cessna 208 at 12,000 feet for seven-year-old Freddie Farmer, at Headcorn Aerodrome in Ashford, Kent.

Her father, Danny Catchesides, 63, and older brother, Dan, 41, got the thumbs down on September 1 after the grandad had the wrong certificate and the uncle was a pound over the British Parachute Association’s 14st 7lbs safety limit.

Dan said: “I thought being under 15st was okay, but it was incredible of Deanne to step in. That sums her up really.”

The tandem skydive was for the Freddie Farmer Foundation, set up in February, to raise £250,000 to set up a specialist physiotherapy centre in south-east London for children and young people with cerebral palsy and serious mobility problems. Deanne’s son, Freddie, who was born at 28 weeks with cerebral palsy, weighing just 2 lb 12 oz, has to travel to Oxford for treatment.

Deanne said: “Dad and Dan were so disappointed not to be able to jump. I guess the best way to do a parachute jump is by not being prepared at all.

“I felt a little bit queasy on the spins, and jumping out the plane was a bit surreal but before you can change your mind they say just go and you freefall and it’s amazing, you’re just looking around at everything, it’s awesome. I loved it and it goes so quickly. I’d recommend anyone to do it.”

Tandem instructor Lance Corporal Frank Millerick, from the Princess of Wales’s Royal Regiment, did the dive with Deanne, his 951st. He said: “We’ve had more than 200 charity skydives so far this year. It was brave of Deanne but sometimes you need a leap of faith like this.”

The skydive has raised approximately £3,000 through sponsorship and people can donate online at www.bmycharity.com/freddiefarme

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