Get in touch: send your photos, videos, news & views by texting YORK to 80360 or send an email»
Widow’s charity skydive in memory of husband
A WOMAN who lost her husband soon after he was diagnosed with a highly aggressive brain tumour has completed a parachute jump to boost funds for research into the disease.
Sandra Mennell’s husband Berni died on March 31 aged 54, only four months after being diagnosed with glioblastoma – a type of tumour particularly difficult to treat.
Mr Mennell, of Huntington, was known to many in York, due to his job as a taxi driver and as a long-time member of Heworth Golf Club.
Mrs Mennell, 49, decided she wanted to help raise money for research into slowing the progress of the tumours and completed a skydive which she said her husband “would have been proud of”.
She said: “I felt as if Berni was with me. I think that’s partly why I was so calm. It was absolutely fantastic. It was out-of-this-world amazing, but what surprised me was I was just so calm about it. I didn’t expect to be calm at all. The whole thing was great.”
Mrs Mennell, who works at Sainsbury’s Monks Cross, said she has so far raised £2,120 through online donations, but many of her friends and colleagues have also sponsored her on top of that.
She described her husband’s illness as a “bolt out of the blue” for her and her three sons, Joe, 22, Tom, 20 and Danny, 17, and all of them were very proud of her for doing the jump.
The jump took place on Sunday at an airfield near Bridlington.
She was expecting to leave the plane at 10,000 feet but, because of the cloudy weather conditions, they jumped from 11,000.
She said: “They really looked after me and since I did it I have been looking at the photos and can’t believe it’s me. It was a surreal experience.”
To sponsor Mrs Mennell, visit justgiving.com/bernimennell