Nathan Hutchinson is set for the skies on Saturday - for a very important cause.
Nathan is doing a skydive with his aunt, Tracy Johnson, in a brilliant effort to raise funds for the Down’s Syndrome Association.
When his aunt mentioned her plans to undertake the daring challenge, Nathan jumped at the chance to join her - and now he’s about to jump a little further.
“My mum told me my aunt was planning to do a skydive to raise money for charity,” explained Nathan, a pupil at Markethill High School. “I said straight away, “I want to do that!””
Tracy was originally a little nervous about the event, but her nephew’s enthusiasm set the adventurers on track.
“I had wanted to do a skydive for a long time, but had always chickened out,” shared Tracy. “I finally bit the bullet and mentioned it to my sister - and Nathan decided he wanted to join me.”
Tracy is no newcomer to embarking on adventures for charity, having walked the Great Wall of China last year with her own son to raise funds for Cancer Focus. Her son, Jordan, was 18 at the time and rose to the challenge of trekking 45 miles along the Wall over five days.
Now Nathan, who turns 16 this week, is rising to the challenge. He and Tracy are completing the skydive on Saturday to raise funds for the Down’s Syndrome Association, something very close to both of them as Nathan’s younger brother, Jacob, has Down’s Syndrome.
“We had to raise £800 for the skydive, but we’ve managed to raise £1,000,” Nathan said. “My school has helped raise £300 through a non-uniform day.”
Nathan will have to take a short break from his GCSE revision for the event, but the skydive is merely the tip of the iceberg. Next September, Nathan and Tracy plan to trek the Grand Canyon alongside his uncle Robin and partner Ann - to raise funds for Cancer Focus.
“I’m so excited for both events,” shared Nathan. “I’m training a bit at the moment, but I run quite a lot and will be climbing the Mournes to prepare for it.”
While the group have over a year before the trek, they must raise £14,000 between them.
“We held a charity ball last month, raising over £3,000,” said Tracy. “Overall, we’ve got about £4,500 raised so far and will be planning lots of events over the next year.”
To help the adventurers on their trek for Cancer Focus, visit www.justgiving.com/fundraising/grandcanyon2017