‘Scared’ dad’s skydive to help find son’s cure

Skydive dad
Skydive dad

A dad who is scared of heights will face his fears with a skydive because he would do ‘pretty much anything’ to find a treatment for his three-year-old son’s life-changing disease.

Dad-of-three John Elkington is scared of climbing ladders but will attempt the 10,000 foot plunge to help son Noah who suffers from Duchenne muscular dystrophy.

The aggressive muscle wasting disease can shorten life expectancy and is incurable.

John, of Ifield, said: “I’m pretty scared of heights, I don’t even like ladders. So to throw myself out of aeroplane is going to be pretty hairy. But you put it to the back of your mind. I would pretty much do anything to find a treatment.”

John is one of 100 skydivers taking part in the Muscular Dystrophy Campaign, which hopes to raise £5,000 to find a treatment for the 100 boys a year who are diagnosed with the condition -

The money will go directly into research with the minimum £399 sponsorship funding three days of scientists’ work.

John said Noah’s diagnosis, aged one, turned family life upside down and led to some difficult questions. He said: “One day my daughter Summer [then aged 5] asked over dinner ‘Is Noah going to die?’ I was like ‘wow’, it kicks you in the gut. Kids put you on the spot like that. You can’t lie about it, you just try and educate them and be truthful.

“Getting a diagnosis basically turns your life upside down, it’s like a rollercoaster. It’s very intense. ”

It can be hard for people to appreciate the gravity of Noah’s condition, John said.

He added: “ Noah is like just an average three-year-old boy, playing with his toys and running around. But it’s one of those things that’s progressive and happens over the years. He gets a lot of leg cramps, sometimes they wake him up in the night, it can be horrific.”

John will jump on March 1 with friends James Lambert, Nathan White, Abbie Wilson and Toral Vadher. To support them go to www.justgiving.com/jumpfornoah.