Buxton mum braves skydive to thank Christie Charity for her parents' cancer care

A Buxton mum is mustering up the courage to jump out of a plane this spring in order to raise money and show her gratitude for the hospital team caring for her seriously ill father.

By Ed Dingwall
Monday, 7th February 2022, 11:14 am
Updated Monday, 7th February 2022, 11:14 am

Harpur Hill resident Kim Thomas, 28, is determined to do her bit for the Christie Charity after two years in which disruption to usual sources of income have affected its capacity to provide enhanced services over and above those funded by the NHS.

She said: “It’s been the same for most charities during the pandemic, and you don’t realise how important they are until you need them. Without the Christie, I wouldn’t have my mum or dad any more.”

Dad David Thomas, 81, who lives on Brown Edge Road, has been undergoing treatment for leukaemia since it arose out of the blue in July 2021.

Kim Thomas, right, with parents David and Carol and daughter Poppy.

Kim said: “It was a big shock. He’s not your average 80-year-old, he cycled a lot and kept himself so fit. He came up in spots all over his body and thought he’d been bitten by something in the garden.

“When he got to the doctors and had blood tests done, they said he had to get to Stepping Hill immediately or he might not be here tomorrow. He was in such a bad way, you’d never imagine it could happen like that.”

David initially spent a month in hospital and has been having weekly blood transfusions at the Christie in Manchester ever since.

She said: “He’s just been diagnosed with sepsis for the second time and he’s very poorly. They are struggling to get his blood to stabilise so they can’t give him a stem cell treatment. The next stage may be a bone marrow biopsy and then a transplant, but they’re really not sure where to go with it.

Kim will be skydiving in April as part of a group of Christie Charity fundraisers.

“It’s been very hard and stressful for everyone. We’re a very close family who have never been away from one another.”

Despite the uncertainty, support from hospital staff has made a world of difference, giving the family more time to forge precious memories for Kim’s three-year-old daughter Poppy.

Kim said: “Dad always tells me how good the nurses have been with him. They’re so lovely and caring. My mum, Carol, has been managing her cancer for ten years and now she’s treated at the new Christie clinic in Macclesfield.

“She has myeloma, the same cancer that killed my great grandmother, so I know years ago my mum would not have lived as long as she has without the treatment she’s received.

“The staff have been amazing and done so much for our family at times when I’ve felt helpless and unable to affect what’s going on. I want to give something back, say thank you and help other people in a similar position.”

The skydive is scheduled to happen as part of an organised Christie fundraiser near Lancaster on April 2.

Kim said: “It’s a real mix of emotions at the moment. I’ve never done anything like this before but I’ve got a friend doing it too and that’s calmed my nerves a bit, and dad is super proud of what I’m doing. I hope I can inspire other people to take part in charity events.”

To make a donation to Kim’s fundraising, go to www.justgiving.com/fundraising/kim-thomas19.

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