SHE’S done it! Legal eagle Marie Pym defied her fear of heights to soar into a sky on a wing walk that has raised more than £1,000 for Ark Cancer Centre Charity and was a great tribute to her late brother.
Family and friends gathered at Chiltern Park Aerodrome, in Ipsden, Oxfordshire, to watch marvellous Marie achieve the awesome feat of soaring into the sky on top of a bi-plane – and there were cheers and applause as she completed the daring challenge.
Marie, a residential conveyancer at Clarke & Son Solicitors, took on the wing walk feat in support of Ark and its campaign to raise £5million towards a new NHS cancer treatment centre that will be built in Basingstoke.
Rising to the challenge was also a tribute to Marie’s brother Adie Lewis, who sadly passed away in August 2016 aged 50, after a long and brave fight with cholangiocarcinoma – incurable cancer of the bile duct.
Speaking after touching down, Marie, from Basingstoke, said: “I was nervous getting into the chair on top of the plane, but it was a great experience doing the actual flight. It felt like a fairground ride as the plane went up and down, but I am so pleased to have done this – and I said a few words to Adie while I was up there.
“It was lovely to see so many people here today to support me, and I am grateful to everyone who has sponsored me and have helped me to reach, and pass, my £1,000 fundraising target.”
Mother-of-two Marie has a fear of heights but this did not stop her from joining family members and doing a sponsored skydive in 2015 in support of Adie and AMFF – the cholangiocarcinoma charity – and on Saturday (Aug 11) she faced, and conquered, her fears again, even managing a few waves during her 15-minute flight.
The Clarke & Son team, who are based in offices in Winchester Road, Basingstoke, have raised £55,000 for Ark over the last three years, and in 2018-19, they are hoping to add a further £15,000 to the fundraising total.
Marie’s marvellous achievement, and her successful fundraising, has now added well over £1,000 to the running total which stood at more than £4,000 following a successful Charity Golf Day in July.
Marie is hoping that now she has risen to the wing walk challenge, more donations will still come in on the fundraising page on The Good Exchange platform at https://bit.ly/2IISsfJ.
And 54-year-old Marie is now passing on the fundraising baton to her daughter Jade, 24, who will be one of a seven-strong all-women Clarke & Son team who are aiming to abseil down the Emirates Spinnaker Tower in Portsmouth on Monday, August 27.
Mark Jones, director of fundraising and communications for Ark Cancer Centre Charity, said: “Marie is an amazing lady, and it was great to see her achieve this awesome feat, and also smash her fundraising target. Everyone is very proud of her, and her inspirational achievement was a great tribute to her brother.”
Ark Cancer Centre Charity is raising £5million towards a new cancer treatment centre, and this sum will provide a range of support services and complementary therapies, alongside chemotherapy and radiotherapy treatments, in a calm and uplifting environment.
Largely being funded by Hampshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (HHFT), plans are progressing to locate the new cancer treatment centre on the existing Basingstoke hospital site.