Nefe Etomi, a financial analyst from Fulham, London, raised the money to help children and young people with cancer by doing a sky dive for Emeka Mbakwe, also aged 22, who was supported by the charity.
The friends, who met aged ten at school in Nigeria before they came to the UK, spent time together at Paul’s House, CLIC Sargent’s Home from home in London, while Emeka was being treated at University College Hospital.
“I was able to visit Emeka when he was staying at Paul’s House and his family were also able to stay there. It meant a lot to be able to do that. After he died I wanted to do something to help,” said Nefe.
“I had never done a sky dive before, or anything like it. I haven’t even done a bungee jump. A sky dive seemed like a good idea because I have quite a demanding job and there wouldn’t be time to train for runs. I wanted to do something quite extreme,” said Nefe.
Because it was in a good cause, Nefe was able to persuade her parents, particularly her mother, who was worried about the risks of her jumping out of a plane, that a sky dive was a good idea. The jump took place on Saturday 13 April at the North London Parachute Centre in March, Cambridgeshire.
“I went with my cousins and siblings and we were all excited. Before I got on the plane I had to touch the ground for the last time!” said Nefe.
“When the plane had got to a certain height I said surely it was okay to jump out now, but they said it would take another five minutes to climb to the right height.”
“The first two seconds of the jump were scary, then it was really good fun, I really enjoyed it.”
Lucy Caldicott, Director of Fundraising for CLIC Sargent, said: “Nefe has raised a huge amount of money through her sky dive, which will help CLIC Sargent to provide practical, emotional and clinical support for children and young people with cancer, and their families. Thank you Nefe.”
CLIC Sargent is currently appealing for over 700 intrepid skydivers to join a mass jump from at least 10,000ft over the weekend of 14 and 15 September in an attempt to set a new world record for the most tandem skydives within 24 hours.
The jumps will take place over five airfields in central and southern England, and CLIC Sargent aims to raise more than £400,000 to help children and young people with cancer.