Ready to take the high jump for dad

Suzanne Kerrigan
Suzanne Kerrigan

A mother-of-two will be leaping from a plane for the second time in 20 years - paying tribute to her dad and raising cash to help research the disease that killed him.

Suzanne Kerrigan (38), Waverley Avenue, Grangemouth, was a teenager when she first jumped out of a plane and parachuted 3500 feet to earth. Now two decades ... and two children ... later she is planning to leap from 10,000 feet at Strathallan on Saturday, June 16.

“It was the scariest thing and best thing I have ever done,” she laughed. “I’m absolutely terrified about doing it again, but I’ve got to do it for my dad. He was in the armed forces and always wanted to do a parachute jump, but he never did.”

David Archibald, Suzanne’s dad, died six years ago at the age of 59 after contracting lung cancer. Now she and her family want to honour his memory by raising as much cash as possible for the Roy Castle Lung Cancer Foundation.

The charity, which funds research and raises awareness of the disease, was founded in 1990 as the Lung Cancer Fund and changed its name in recognition of the work of Roy Castle, the popular entertainer who died in 1994 after a brave battle against lung cancer.

“We thought it was the best charity to raise funds for,” said Suzanne.

After Suzanne’s dad died her mum Pam took it upon herself to go on the adventures she and David planned for their retirement, before he was struck down by the deadly disease, including trips to the Canadian Rockies and Las Vegas.

However, she admits she does not share David’s thirst for adventure, but she knows Suzanne certainly does.

“Mum and dad were there to see me jump the first time,” said Suzanne.

“I know dad will be there with me in spirit when I jump this time.”

Husband Allan (40) and children Nathan (13), of Grangemouth High School, and Hannah (5), of Beancross Primary, will also be supporting their mum from the ground when she takes that big step into fresh air this summer.

Suzanne must raise a minimum of £500 in order to do the jump, so the family has organised a fundraising night at Grangemouth’s Lodge Zetland in Bo’ness Road, on Saturday, May 12, at 7.30 p.m.

Tickets cost £7 and include a buffet, disco and live band.

Suzanne said: “We want to raise as much as we can. Local shops and businesses have already been a great help, donating raffle prizes.”

Visit www.justgiving.com/suzannekerrigan if you want to donate to this worthy cause.