Lorna takes to the skies in cause of charity

Lorna takes to the skies in cause of charity

11 October 2017

SHE did it — and would do it all again.

Killyleagh woman Lorna McCormick has conquered her fear of heights and skydived for charity.

Her big achievement at the Wild Geese Centre in Limavady helped raise over £500, which has been donated this week to Suicide Down to Zero and ALPS (All Lives Are Precious).

From marathons to coffee mornings, Lorna has already raised thousands of pounds for charity in memory of her much loved younger sister Natania Hagen. A talented musician, Natania sadly lost her life to suicide in 2014 at the age of just 27.

Despite their devastation, Natania’s family wanted something positive to come from her death, including a better support system for the mentally ill and the stigma surrounding suicide removed.

They also want to encourage more people to speak openly about depression and anxiety.

Speaking about her big skydive challenge, Lorna said she was nervous on the 13,000 feet ascent.

“It takes you about 15 minutes to get up there,” she said. “You’re actually just seat-belted to the person you are jumping in tandem with and for part of the way the door of the plane is open.”

After the heart lurching jump itself, Lorna said the first 30 seconds of the jump were the most difficult.

“You feel the rush of the wind and you feel a bit disorientated as you are free-falling without a parachute. Then you feel yourself being pulled up a bit.

“It was a really clear day and after a while we could see animals on the ground as wee dots. It was very peaceful. It was an amazing experience and felt so relaxing.”

She added: “I am thinking about doing it again.”

Lorna has presented cheques of £332.50 to Suicide Down to Zero and £205 to ALPS NI.

Lifeline provides support to people suffering distress or despair in Northern Ireland. Telephone 0808 808 8000 (24 hours).