Kelly skydives solo to keep pact with brother
A woman who planned to do a parachute jump for Kidney Research UK with her brother, bravely took to the skies without him, following his sudden death just five weeks before.
Kelly Doble, (51) from Dover had always wanted to do a sponsored skydive and made a pact with her brother last year to do it to celebrate her 50th year.
The pair were all ready to go when her brother Mark Wakefield was taken ill very suddenly, at home.
Kelly takes up the story: “It’s something I’ve always wanted to do and my brother said he would do it with me. We wanted to do it with Kidney Research UK because my husband is about to go on the transplant list.
“We were all ready but just five weeks before the day my brother rang to say he felt a bit ill but it got worse, so my husband told him to call an ambulance. Mark walked out to the ambulance, but when he got to hospital, he had a massive heart attack and died. That was it. He was only 56.
“It was such a shock for all of us.”
“I decided to still do the jump because I know he would have wanted me too and it gave me something to focus on through the initial grief.
“When I did the jump I took his picture with me and in the plane as we were going up I held it tight and kept saying, ‘This is for you, this is for you’. Thinking of him and knowing he would have wanted me to go through with it kept me going really, it gave me a focus when things were really bad.”
Kelly did the jump with her stepson’s girlfriend, Hannah Dale.
They chose to do the skydive for Kidney Research UK because Kelly’s husband James has chronic kidney disease (CKD) caused by his type one diabetes.
He is currently being prepared for a double kidney and pancreas transplant to improve his quality of live and to eliminate his diabetes.
Kelly said: “James was working full-time up until recently, he is a construction manager, but his kidney disease means he gets very tired. When he was working, he would often have to take himself away and have a rest during the day.
“His doctor is hoping he will get a kidney and a pancreas from the same donor and is preparing him for that now. I would have donated my kidney to him. but kidney disease runs in our family so it’s not something I would be able to do.”
Since the jump Kelly has raised over £2,000 for Kidney Research UK with donations from her family and friends.
And she added: “Doing the jump is one of the most exhilarating things I have ever done, it was amazing and I’d say to anyone who would like to do it for this fantastic charity, go for it, you’ll love it."
Kidney Research UK will be celebrating its 60th year in 2021 and to mark this event they need 60 people to take part in a skydive.
Find out more about jumps organised in Durham, Peterborough, Honiton, Swansea and St Andrews on 6 March 2021.
Get our e-newsletter
Stay up to date with our kidney research news, events and ways to get involved.