Granny's skydive challenge to celebrate 90th birthday
PUBLISHED: 10:00 07 October 2016
A pensioner from Brixington will become a skydiving granny, celebrating her 90th birthday by throwing herself from an aeroplane.
Gran-of-five Jean Awdas, 89, of Parkside Drive, set herself a tandem skydive challenge to raise funds for the Devon Freewheelers and St Margaret and St Andrew’s Church, Littleham. She is hoping to raise £1,000 to split between the causes.
The pensioner’s tandem jump is to celebrate her milestone birthday and mark the end of a difficult year marred by illness.
She is already looking ahead to reaching a century - and a 100th birthday daredevil challenge.
Jean, a mum-of-two, said: “Everybody says ‘aren’t you brave’. That doesn’t even cross my mind. I am a risk taker. I don’t know where I get it from.
“A lot of older people think there are a lot of things they can’t do, but there are lots of things you can do. It’s an attitude of mind. I like telling people about being old, and doing things.
“It seems my middle name is ‘crazy’. My family says ‘if she wants to do it, she will do it’. My doctor gave me one look and said ‘don’t come back with a broken leg’.
“My friends have got it lined up what I am going to do when I am 100 - a glider. But I have got to get there yet.”
Jean, who was aged 12 when her dad died, added: “This jump is to celebrate the fact that I’m nearly 90, but also that I have been so blessed that I have been restored to health, after a year of serious operations, shingles, skin cancer, and other bits and pieces to complete my medical MOT.
“I owe this to the healing power of my Lord, and the thoughts and prayers of family and friends who have supported me throughout this long year – I am so grateful.”
Jean will be joined in her daredevil challenge by 71-year-old Keith Ladbury, of Barnfield Avenue, Exmouth, and the Reverend Benedict Cambridge.
Married Keith is raising funds for Freewheelers EVS, a blood bike service covering the whole of the South West.
He said: “Jean’s an inspiration. She’s definitely the star of the show.”
Vicar Benedict is joining Jean in fundraising for the Devon Freewheelers.
Sponsorship forms for Jean’s skydive challenge are at St Margaret and St Andrew’s Church, Littleham, and Holy Trinity Church, Rolle Road, Exmouth Sponsor Keith at www.justgiving.com/fundraising/Keith-Ladbury