A SOUTHAMPTON teenager is planning a daring skydive – to raise money for hospital staff who saved her life.
Rebecca Stradling, 16, is taking to the skies to help the Piam Brown Ward at Southampton General Hospital, whose staff treated her after she was diagnosed with cancer.
The Hedge End teenager, along with her mum Julie and sister Hayley, 19, is also taking part in this year’s Race for Life in Southampton.
Money raised at Race for Life helps to fund vital studies of new treatments for childhood cancer.
These are organised by Cancer Research UK’s Children’s Cancer Trials Team and are carried out at 21 specialist centres across the UK, including Piam Brown Ward.
Each year around 1,600 children are diagnosed with cancer.
Cancer Research UK is a major funder of research into children’s cancer in the UK and has helped to transform the outlook for children with cancer in the past 40 years.
When she was 13, Rebecca was diagnosed with large B-cell lymphoma and faced four months of intensive chemotherapy treatment.
Three years on, Rebecca, who attends Wildern School in Hedge End, is now in remission and she wanted to give something back to those who helped her.
Of Piam Brown Ward, she said: “The ward cares for seriously ill children.
They come from as far afield as Chichester, the Channel Islands, Dorchester and Basingstoke for specialist treatment for cancer.
“They treat children from a day old to 18 years, so demand on their resources is huge.
“They treat all types of cancer although leukaemia is most common.
“I would like to give something back to the Piam Brown Ward, who helped me so much.
“Since having cancer at the age of 13, I have wanted to do a sky-dive.
Now I have reached the minimum age limit, I decided this would be a great opportunity to raise money and be a great inspiration to others.”
Later this year Rebecca is heading to Newmarket to take up a place at the prestigious British Racing School where she will study for a career in the racing industry.
Rebecca’s parents, Julie and Gary, are very proud of their “amazing young woman” and her decision to do the sky-dive and Race for Life.
“It is great that Becca wants to give something back. We can’t praise the staff at Piam Brown Ward enough.
“We are also looking forward to taking part in Race for Life as a family.
We have taken part before and love the atmosphere but it will be extra special this year.”
Cancer Research UK’s Race for Life, in partnership with Tesco, is an inspiring women-only series of events which raises millions of pounds every year to help defeat cancer by funding life-saving research.
This year’s events are at the Garrison Ground and University of Winchester Stadiumon June 9 and at Southampton Common on July 14.
l Rebecca is doing her sky-dive on May 26. She has already raised most of her £750 target.
To support her sky dive, go to justgiving.
To enter Race for Life, go to raceforlife.org or call 0845 600 6050.