Daredevil Ottery St Mary granddad with prostate cancer to skydive for charity - and wants you to join him!

John Hounsell and Ruth Burrow are hoping to reach for the sky in aid of FORCE. John, 75, was diagnos

John Hounsell and Ruth Burrow are hoping to reach for the sky in aid of FORCE. John, 75, was diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2015 but is preparing to undertake a charity skydive and encourage 29 other people to do it with him. - Credit: Archant

A 75-year-old prostate cancer sufferer from Ottery hopes to raise money for charity by taking part in a skydive - and wants 29 other people to join him.

John Hounsell was diagnosed in 2015 and has decided to raise money for Force Cancer Charity.

The grandfather-of-three will jump from 15,000 feet in a tandem skydive on June 4 at Dunkeswell. He hopes more people will join him to mark the cancer charity’s 30th birthday.

The agricultural service engineer said: “I’m living with cancer, rather than dying from it.

“I have learnt over the past year that cancer is non-discriminating. It affects the young and the old and it shows no boundaries.

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“Like so many people out there, we are all in the same situation. Hopefully, one day cancer will be a thing of the past, but this will take time and a lot of money. To help this dream come true for all of us, I am trying to raise money to help this to happen. With the help and support of you all, we may help this come true.

“I have called it ‘reach for the sky’ because I have no idea how much we are going to raise.”

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John has been supported by his friend of 40 years Ruth Burrow. Ruth is a staunch supporter of raising awareness of prostate cancer, after her husband Richard was diagnosed with it in 2005.

Ruth, of Rill Farm, said: “I personally think that men get a raw deal. As a woman, we have breast screenings and cervical smearing. Why can’t men have a PSA [Prostate-Specific Antigen] test? It’s an uphill battle sometimes - in annual MOT checks, PSA tests are not on it.

“John has said from the

beginning he wants to involve children. We want the money to spent locally at the Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital.”

So far, 12 people have signed up to join John the skydive, which has been planned in association with Skydive Buzz.

Naomi Cole, community fundraiser for Force, said: “Our admiration for John is sky-high as he

challenges himself, not only to

jump out of plane, but also to

raise awareness and funds for

Force. We really appreciate all of the hard work that he and his team have already put in and wish them all the very best with their challenge. Huge thanks to everyone involved.”

John and Ruth have planned a series of street collections, starting in Honiton on April 8, Axminster on April 13, Sidmouth on April 15, and Ottery St Mary on April 22.

To join John’s jump, or for more information, you can contact him on 07976 749391 or 01404 813837, Ruth on 01404 812899, or Skydive Buzz on 01404 890222 or at www.skydiveukltd.com

To find out more, visit: https://www.facebook.com/SkydiveForFORCE/?hc_ref=SEARCH

To donate, visit: http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/fundraiser-web/fundraiser/showFundraiserProfilePage.action?userUrl=reachforthesky

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