Eighty year old community stalwart Ray Broomfield completed a charity parachute jump in memory of his beloved wife who suffered from Alzheimer’s disease.
Ray, who has raised thousands of pounds for Alzheimer’s Research over several years by giving talks to local groups and organisations, decided it was about time he took the plunge.
His wife Lesley sadly died of Alzheimer’s disease two years ago.
The couple had met when they were just 17 and married at 20 when Ray came out of the forces.
Lesley was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s in 2004.
Ray said: “Luckily we had a good supportive doctor but less was understood about Alzheimer’s then. There is much more public awareness and understanding now.
“I do my best to tell people what it is like to live with Alzheimer’s.
Ray admits that the jump, which took place at Headcorn Airfield, in Kent, was his biggest challenge yet.
He said: “The jump was one of the most challenging yet enthralling things I have ever done. My Lesley was my inspiration and my courage, I did the jump for my love of her.”
Commenting on the experience, Ray said: “When someone suggested I should jump from a plane my first reaction was don’t be daft.
“I wasn’t scared but the adrenalin was racing. It was an interesting experience but I don’t think I will be rushing over there to do it again.”
This year’s jump followed a big two day arts and crafts exhibition that Ray organised in Battle last year and which raised more than £700.
He said: “Now I will have to think of something else to do for next year.”
So far Ray has raised in excess of £500 and sponsorship money from the jump is still pouring in.
He said: “I would like to thank everyone for their support particularly to my family for their love and encouragement.”
If anyone would like to sponsor Ray or if a group or an organisation would like to hear his talks in aid of the Alzheimer’s Society, contact him on 01424 777202.
For more information on Alzheimer’s Research visit www.alzheimersresearchuk.org.
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