Cotton woman facing her fears to battle illness that has plagued generations of her family

Alana Gudge is terrified of flying, but is doing a sponsered skydive on September 5th ANL-150825-193327009
Alana Gudge is terrified of flying, but is doing a sponsered skydive on September 5th ANL-150825-193327009

A Diss employee scared of flying and heights will face her fears at the start of next month in a charity skydive — raising funds to tackle a ‘terrible illness’ which has plagued generations of her family.

Alana Gudge, 32, a full-time employee at Vince’s Road-based technology solutions firm Midwich, will take part in a tandem skydive, jumping from more than 10,000 feet in Peterborough on September 5, raising funds for Ovarian Cancer Action.

Her mother Jennifer Parmenter was diagnosed with the disease two-and-a-half years ago. And further research found there was a “strong line” of ovarian and breast cancer. Mrs Gudge explained her mother will be the seventh generation family member to die from either ovarian or breast cancer.

“On a scale of one to ten of how scared I am of flying, it’s a 20,” she said. “A prime example; we went to Spain four weeks ago, and I had four glasses of wine and 10mg of diazepam on the plane!

“I am petrified. I have been losing sleep over it. I woke up in the night crying after having a bad dream that the instructor had cut the straps off my parachute.

“It was an impulse thing to do a skydive. I saw it and said ‘I am scared of that’. I hope people support me as I am facing my fears.”

So far, more than £1,000 has been raised. In 2013, she raised more than £2,000 for the charity through a head shave, also donating her locks to the Little Princess Trust.

Mrs Gudge, who lives in Cotton near Mendlesham, said the event was to raise awareness as well as funds for Ovarian Cancer Action and said if she hit her target of £2,500, she will once again shave her head before her skydive.

A mother of five, she is one of three siblings who has had a hysterectomy after being deemed “high risk” by doctors.

“They are just giving my mum some treatment to keep her going, she has chemotherapy twice a year,” she added. “They are never going to cure it and they do not know how long she will go on for.

“It means so much to me (raising money and awareness). It is more than words can describe.

“Ovarian cancer is not very well known, and it is known as the ‘silent killer’.

“It’s also about raising awareness of it because it affects lots of young women.”

n To sponsor Alana, visit www.justgiving.com/alanagudge

For more information on Ovarian Cancer Action, visit www.ovarian.org.uk