Crawley Down skydiving granny and grandson who went extra mile for charity

jpco 7-5-14 Pauline Robins and her grandson Josh (Pic by Jon Rigby) SUS-140605-104929001
jpco 7-5-14 Pauline Robins and her grandson Josh (Pic by Jon Rigby) SUS-140605-104929001

A grandmother who is terrified of heights will throw herself out of an aeroplane to raise money for the hospital which helped her fight cancer.

Pauline Robins, 71, of Crawley Down, will take part in a tandem skydive from 10,000 feet above Kent on Saturday (May 10) in aid of the Queen Victoria Hospital.

The daredevil pensioner will be following in the fundraising footsteps of her seven-year-old grandson, Josh, who ran the children’s Mini Mile at the Brighton Marathon earlier this month.

Describing her decision to make the jump, Pauline admitted she was nervous but said it was Josh’s reaction to the challenge which made up her mind to follow it through.

She said the lad had been concerned for her safety but came around to the idea when she explained the work achieved by the hospital and the help staff had given her.

Pauline said: “He went and got his money box, brought it into the lounge and split the money between me and his mum [Caroline, who ran the Brighton Marathon].”

With £2.30 from Josh and a further £2.50 from his little brother Jake, 5, who live in Pound Hill, Pauline knew she could not back down.

Pauline suffers from a form of breast cancer so rare that only 30 cases have been recorded anywhere in the world.

She has undergone chemotherapy, surgery and radiotherapy.

She praised the care and understanding given to her by staff at the Queen Victoria Hospital – who had to contend with her fear of needles while they attempted to conduct “countless blood tests”.

She also went to the hospital for physiotherapy after have her knee replaced.

As for the jump itself, Pauline is one of 11 people who will travel to Headcorn Aerodrome. And she has a fool-proof idea for overcoming her fear.

She said: “I have this plan to just close my eyes! I think, once the chute has opened, I will open my eyes then.”

Thanking her workmates for their help during her illness, Pauline added: “I do feel very much it’s the support I’ve had from family, friends and neighbours that has made a huge difference.”