6 September, 2023

“I turned 50 this year and decided it was time to go through my bucket list. A skydive was on that list,” says Lynda Gillon 

“It’s also been 15 years since I lost my mum to breast cancer, and a close friend is going through treatment, so I wanted to do something for Breast Cancer UK because it’s a cause close to my heart.”

Lynda does voluntary work through the Girls’ Brigade in Scotland, including fun runs. However, this was her first try at something so high off the ground, and a skydive is something she’s always wanted to tick off her bucket list.

Despite her fears, Lynda went ahead anyway, with her friends supporting her – from the ground – with the original skydive scheduled for 28 March. But it didn’t go as planned.

“We went up there in the morning, and it was just this gloriously sunny day,” says Lynda. “Then, by noon, the weather completely changed. And the rain came down, and everybody was wishing the rain would hurry up and disperse so we could get up there. It was all the anticipation, and we were all geared up for it.”

However, the weather had other ideas, and by late afternoon the likelihood of any skydiving that day was increasingly unlikely. Lynda was disappointed, especially as friends and family had come out to support her attempt. Still, she figured it just wasn’t meant to be that day.

One to tick off the bucket list!

“We managed to rebook the skydive. This time we were able to do the training. The team was great. They make you feel relaxed. They take you through a video, all that might go wrong, how to resolve it, and what you need to be aware of.”

When Lynda went to book the date, she was offered Saturday, 8 April: “I said to him, you’re kidding? And he says that’s just where there’s a slot because we have so many bookings. Lynda said, ‘I’ll take it!’ because that was my mum’s birthday.”

The April day dawned sunny and dry. Lynda suited up and was ecstatic at the chance to do a skydive, especially on that special date finally.

“One of my daughters commented that ‘Gran is with you’, and it was really emotional and just felt right,” she says.

The skydive itself

Family and friends turned out again to watch Lynda take her dive, which was recorded.

“James took all the photographs and video of the day, which was brilliant because my family couldn’t see us in the plane, going up and then coming down through the clouds. Up there, they seemed so thick, like smoke.”

There were two solos and two tandems inside the small plane. Once everyone was on board, the plane circled to gain altitude up to 12,000 feet through those clouds.

“Then we came out to the other side and got ready for the jump,” says Lynda. “You go to the edge of the plane, cross your arm and hang on the edge of the plane with the tandem instructor behind you. The next minute, I could feel my head tumbling like I was in a forward roll, and we went down through the clouds. The parachute opened, and we were just smoothly gliding around the world. It was absolutely breathtaking. I felt I was on a secret mission!”

The landing was just as smooth as Lynda correctly positioned herself as the instructors had shown her: “I had to pull my knees up to my chest and lift my legs out towards the sky. It was difficult because the harness and suit were tight, but I just pulled my legs in as far as I could and up as high as I could. When we touched the grass, I thought I would feel every bump, but it was absolutely smooth.” 

Post skydive

Lynda raised almost £1,300 for BCUK, not just from the emotional skydive but also through organising events such as tombola, games days, and coffee morning – and her work, Scott Pallets, donated £500.

“I was overwhelmed by how many people I work with have been touched by cancer in some way,” says Lynda. “My mum was originally misdiagnosed, and then it was too late to save her. So, I love every day as though it’s your last because you never know what will happen. It just makes you lucky that you’re alive and have your life to live. I believe everybody involved in any breast cancer treatment is an absolute angel. Every person deserves recognition for their actions, from the diagnosis to the treatment, the surgeons, and the aftercare nurses. I’m amazed at such generosity during the difficult time that we’re going through. I think it’s always good to give back. Breast Cancer UK is a charity in my heart, and I’ll always support it in any way I can.

“I’ve got a lovely certificate framed as a keepsake. It’ll always be a treasured memory. Now I’m thinking about my next adventure!

If you would like to raise funds for Breast Cancer UK like Lynda or tick off some of your bucket list, see some inspirations or email the team [email protected] to get started. 

Or visit our skydive page here, or are you ready to book? Sign up today!

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