Tydd St Mary’s Coco, 19, takes plunge for grandpa

Charity sky diver Coco Story ANL-160531-103446001
Charity sky diver Coco Story ANL-160531-103446001

A young fundraiser from Tydd St Mary was one of many thrill seekers to join in a skydive for Alzheimer’s Research UK.

Coco Story made the brave decision to join the UK’s leading dementia research charity for National Skydive Day, on June 4, in honour of her grandpa.

A young Coco with grandpa John Burrell ANL-160531-103458001

A young Coco with grandpa John Burrell ANL-160531-103458001

The 19-year-old student took part in the tandem skydive with a trained instructor, and jumped out of an aeroplane at 13,000ft at Sibson Airfield near Peterborough.

Coco said she wanted to do something to fundraise after her grandpa John Richard Burrell, from Tydd St Mary, died in 2009 with vascular dementia at the age of 81. The Westminster University student raised more than £1,700.

Coco, who studies biological sciences, said: “Grandpa always played with us as kids. He used to give us rides on his back and liked to have fun, and those are memories I will cherish forever. He didn’t live near us but always made an effort to visit. We had a really close relationship and he has always been special to me. I loved him very much.

“He was diagnosed in 2006 and in 2009 he went into hospital. He had lost the ability to speak to us, but my sister and I sang to him in the hospital, as he loved music, and he was squeezing my hand to the beat of the song, which was really touching and something that I will always remember. It is horrible to think what the disease did to him.”

Coco said she has “never done anything as extreme” as a skydive before. To donate, go to uk.virginmoneygiving.com/cocostory