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Parachute Jumping for Cambridge Rare Disease Network
Six incredible ladies, Helena Baker, Zoe Napier, Emily Mortimer, Lisa Griffin, Caroline Churn and Juliette Newton will be parachute jumping for CRDN on the 4th June!
We’ll be there to cheer them on and watch them fly at Beccles Airfield, Norfolk. Please help our courageous ladies achieve their £1,800 fundraising target by donating through Helena’s Just Giving page, Emily’s Just Giving Page and Zoe’s Just Just Giving Page.
So why CRDN?Helena Baker is Vice President of the Nursing Medical Research Network and was one of the key speakers at our event in March 2016, where we discussed the potential need for a rare disease nursing service. Helena was born with Fibular Hemimelia, a rare congenital disorder that left her, in her own words, with one leg shorter than the other– a tiny club foot, lots of missing ligaments in her leg and body, and a fierce determination not to let any of these problems stop her from doing what she wanted in life, except perhaps play hockey. Helena recalls growing up having more operations than hot dinners, but never received a diagnosis.
Eventually, just before she turned 50, she was told of her diagnosis. Doctors were clear there was nothing her mother could have done during pregnancy that would have changed the outcome. She is sure that having had a diagnosis earlier would have made a world of difference to her parents. Helena has been recovering from more surgery having had her right leg amputated below the knee last September and is currently learning to walk again. She is continuing to make a great recovery as she’s getting to grips with her new prosthetic leg. Unfortunately there’s been a slight set back with Helena breaking her remaining ankle. Helena says “On the day, I’m not allowed to jump wearing my prosthetic leg and I’m also not allowed to land on my recently broken one remaining ankle. So I’m going to land on my instructor who will be delighted. I’m planning on testing them out beforehand for looks and comfort.” Helena’s grit and good humour never cease to astound us. She reassured us “We are approaching our impending doom in the spirit of total denial, all desperately trying to pretend that it’s not happening”.
That’s the spirit Helena! Because of her strong belief that having access to a rare disease nursing service would have been a huge support to her and her family, she has decided to take on a parachute jump on Sunday 4th June 2017 at Beccles Airfield alongside Zoe Napier, Emily Mortimer, Lisa Griffin, Caroline Churn and Juliette Newton, to help raise funds for CRDN towards their goal of establishing such a nursing service for those with rare diseases.