Natalie’s 10,000ft skydive to get daughter to Disney World

Natalie’s 10,000ft skydive to get daughter to Disney World

11 July 2018

BALLYGOWAN mother Natalie Hampton will take a huge leap of faith later this month when she skydives 10,000 feet — all for the love of her little girl.

Natalie and four other friends are doing a charity sky jump to raise £12,000 to take her 10-year-old disabled daughter Natasha on a dream holiday to Disney World in Florida.

Natasha has a rare chromosome disorder which has left her immobile and non-verbal, with the pupil at Tor Bank School in Dundonald spending a great amount of time in and out of hospital. 

To provide Natasha with some much-needed respite from her condition, Natalie applied for a place for her on Caudwell Children’s annual Destination Dreams holiday to Disney World.

Caudwell Children is a national charity which provides practical and emotional support to disabled children and their families.

“I was so happy when I found out that Natasha was one of only 25 children to have been selected from across the UK,” said a delighted Natalie. “But because of the associated costs of taking very poorly children overseas, the charity has to pay £12,000 per family.

“That covers the cost of a dedicated team of paediatric doctors and nurses and over 40 volunteers to help the families around the parks. There is no way that I could afford to pay for this kind of care, so to help the charity I decided to take on a fundraising skydive.”

Making the jump on Sunday, July 22, with Natalie (38) will be her hairdresser Jodie Laverty and friends Tim Boyd, an autistic-friendly barber, along with friends Brook Rea and Maurice Gibson, who volunteered to take part after responding to a Facebook appeal from her.

“It’s a fantastic gesture by them all, particularly Jody as she’s petrified. Only Tim has done anything like this before so for the rest of us we’re really out of our comfort zone,” said Natalie.

The group is trying to raise as much money as they can so that Caudwell Children can make the dreams of as many children as possible come true.

“This holiday is really important to my family,” Natalie continued. “Natasha spent most of the first seven years of her life in the Royal Belfast Hospital for Sick Children.

“In 2013, she became highly at risk due to complications with her feeding tube. I was faced with every parent’s worst nightmare of starting palliative care or opting for surgery, which had a one in five chance of survival.  

“I opted for surgery. With Natasha spending the majority of time in hospital, her brother had to spend a lot of time away being looked after by his grandmother. So this family trip in December will allow Natasha to have some quality time to bond with her brother.”

Natalie added: “I just want the public to support our skydive as going on the holiday will allow us to create special memories for us all to cherish as a family.”

Mark Bushell, from Caudwell Children, is impressed by the group’s bravery. He said throwing yourself out of an aeroplane at 10,000 feet and hurtling towards the ground at 120 miles per hour, takes an awful lot of courage.

He added: “You can’t begin to imagine the adrenalin rush associated with free falling through space at that speed. However, I’m sure that Natalie and her friends will get a huge sense of achievement by completing the challenge. We can’t thank them enough.”

The jump will take place at Wild Geese Movenis Airfield, Carrowreagh Road, Carvagh in Co Londonderry and Natalie and the fundraising team can be supported through their individual Just Giving pages which are: 

Natalie Hampton,; Jody Laverty,; Tim Boyd,;  Maurice Gibson, and Brooke Rea,