Pair's sky dive in memory of friend

TWO women are preparing to plunge from the skies in memory of their friend who died from breast cancer aged just 26.

James Hore

TWO women are preparing to plunge from the skies in memory of their friend who died from breast cancer aged just 26.

Gemma Steggles and Nikki Gould, both from Brightlingsea, are doing tandem sky dives to raise cash for St Helena Hospice in Colchester.

Their good friend Emma Harmsworth was cared for at the hospice and the pair chose the jump as a way of saying “thank you” for all that the staff did.

Miss Harmsworth, a nursery nurse, was diagnosed with breast cancer in July 2005 and was initially told she had a good chance of survival.

But the mother-of-one from Brightlingsea became very ill towards the end of the year and doctors told her the illness had spread to her liver and lymph nodes.

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Despite battling bravely against the illness she died in August 2006.

In July, Gemma, 25, and kids club supervisor Nikki, 27, will be heading to Old Buckenham Airfield in Norfolk where they will be given a short lesson before they are strapped to a skydiver and do their jumps.

Gemma, a radiotherapy support officer at Essex County Hospital in Colchester, said she could not wait for the big day and has already hit her fundraising target of £1,000.

She said: “I am a bit nervous, but looking forward to it at the same time.

“Nikki is not the best with heights but I love it so I may well be having to keep an eye on her.

Gemma said she would also be making the leap in memory of her grandma, Stella Steggles, who was cared for by the hospice until she died.

“A lot of the work there is done by volunteers and they do such a fantastic job providing the best care possible for the patients and their families.

“They just do such good work that we wanted to say 'thank you' as it means a lot to both of us because of what they have done in the past.”

n For more details about the fundraising event, go to www.justgiving.co.uk/gemmasteggles

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