‘Proud Sanddancer’ Yvonne Brown has spent almost 20 years caring for those with dementia and lost her own dad to the disease 12 years ago.
On Sunday, September 22, Yvonne will face her biggest fear when she takes on a 10,000ft skydive at Peterlee airfield to raise money for the Alzheimer’s Society.
“It’s something that I have always wanted to tick off my bucket list,” said Yvonne, who now lives in Denton, Newcastle and works at West Farm Care Centre in Longbenton.
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“I’ve worked for 17 years in care homes specialising in Alzheimer’s and my own dad had vascular dementia so it was like an added omen to spur me on to do it for such a brilliant cause.”
Yvonne cared for her dad, Harry Potts, who was originally from Jarrow, for two years before his death in 2008.
“Unless you live or work with it, which I have done both, it’s very hard to realise how much it affects your life, and not just for the person themselves but the family as well. I was very lucky to have the support from my family, I couldn’t have done it without them,” she continued.
“If my dad could see what I’m doing he would be absolutely terrified for me - he’d never even been in a plane - but I think he would be thrilled.”
Yvonne has raised more than £500 for the charity so far and admits she is actually looking forward to conquering her fear.
“Even when I’m putting decorations up at home I have to have someone to keep hold of the ladder and going roller coasters, I love the thrill of coming down, but the going up but terrifies me,” she said.
“I have to admit, as it gets closer I’m 90% excited, but that little bit scared too.
“I have a feeling I am going to be absolutely petrified when I’m in the plane, but I’m looking forward to the thrill.”