Taking the plunge after doomed sky diving bid

Fundraiser's charity challenge derailed but donations still roll in

Thursday, 10th December 2020, 7:00 am
Andrew Dearden who died of a brain tumour in 2015 with his daughter Antonia

Kind hearted donors helped a woman raise more than £1,000 in her father’s memory despite her fund raising efforts being dogged by bad luck.

Antonia Dearden, of Chorley, decided in 2019 that she wanted to do a sky dive for Headway Preston and Chorley in memory of her dad Andrew.

It was planned for June 12, 2019 which would have been his 51st birthday but it was cancelled twice due to bad weather.

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Antonia rescheduled the dive this year for what would have been her dad’s birthday weekend, however, that too was cancelled due to Covid-19.

Frustrated at not being able to complete the sky dive and nearing her 21st birthday Antonia decided that it was the right thing to do to donate the money on November 1, fifth anniversary of her dad’s death.

Antonia said, “I made a Facebook post to explain my decision and check with the kind people who sponsored me that they agreed with this decision. Thankfully, everyone was happy for me to proceed and I managed to raise £1,360.

“I know that these funds are vital for Headway Preston and Chorley especially during the current situation. At the moment fundraising is very difficult. This has a massive impact on smaller charities and I am very grateful to my family and friends who have donated and supported me”.

Andrew was a volunteer for Headway Preston and Chorley up until shortly before he died in 2015 aged 47. Ten years previously, he had successfully had a large, rare brain tumour removed.

However, he lost a quarter of his vision, had problems with co-ordination, fatigued easily and was left sensitive to fluorescent lighting and busy places. He strove to overcome these difficulties and in 2012 he and his wife Pam became volunteers with Headway Preston and Chorley. This allowed him to put his life experience to good use to help others who were in similar situations.

Sadly secondary tumours appeared in other parts of his body which led to a terminal diagnosis.

Liz Bamber, manager of Headway Preston and Chorley, said: “Andrew and Pam were wonderful volunteers, Andrew led our relaxation group and Pam the art class. The family were one of the first to volunteer for Headway Preston and Chorley and we will be forever grateful for their hard work and dedication.

“Andrew found volunteering therapeutic and looked forward to helping others with similar types of brain injuries. When Antonia told us, she was intending to do a sky dive we were amazed and grateful. The setbacks just made her more determined and we thank her from the bottom of our hearts for raising £1,360 which will go towards the Headway Preston and Chorley emergency fund helping local families in crisis following sudden injury or disability.”