A WOMAN with a fear of heights has taken on a fundraising paraglide from a 2,000 metre mountain in memory of her sister’s fiancé.
Kathleen Gibson, 52, from Bishop Auckland, completed the daring jump from Babadag Mountain while on holiday in Turkey, in aid of the Great North Air Ambulance Service (GNAAS).
The Darlington-based charity tried to save her sister’s fiancé, Graham Dunn, last year.
Mr Dunn, 55, from Bishop Auckland, suffered an aneurysm while working near Barnard Castle. GNAAS was called to assist and flew Mr Dunn to James Cook University Hospital in Middlesbrough but despite everyone’s best efforts, he died on March 22, 2014.
Mrs Gibson said: “I know Graham couldn’t be saved, but they tried their best, and GNAAS save so many people’s lives every year. They rely entirely on donations which proves they are a fantastic cause. I did the paraglide in remembrance of Graham who was my sister’s soulmate. They were due to get married in August 2014.”
Mrs Gibson confronted her chronic fear of heights while celebrating her 30-year wedding anniversary with her husband Colin, in August.
She said: “Graham was such a lovely, genuine guy. He would be the same age as my husband and I cannot imagine life without him.
“My sister, Jennifer, told me that he would be watching down on me the whole time and making sure I was safe.
“I was petrified, especially going up to the top, we were so close to the edge, but once I started it was the most incredible feeling, the views were amazing.”
Mrs Gibson has raised £700 in aid of GNAAS. She said: “My target was £300, which I thought was quite ambitious, as I only had a couple of weeks, but then I’ve raised over double, so I’m ecstatic.”
Mandy Drake, head of fundraising at GNAAS, said: “Thank you to Kathleen for overcoming her fear of heights to raise funds for the charity. The money will be put towards flying life-saving missions in the region and she should be very proud.”
To support Mrs Gibson click here.
Pictured are: Kathleen doing her paraglide, and Graham Dunn with his fiancée Jennifer Clayton.