When Leo takes to the skies next month with dad, Kyle, beside him it will, no doubt, be mum, Emma, at the forefront of both their minds.

The pair are among the volunteers taking part in Teesside Hospice’s Flying 50, which will see them jumping from an aircraft at 15,000 ft.

As if that wasn’t enough the pair will also tackle Middlesbrough’s Half Marathon, just weeks before.

While Leo knows his mum would be proud, in reality, he said: “She would probably laugh at us and say, what are you doing?”

Building up to the challenge with a team of four other family members and friends, including his aunty, Katie, Leo added: “I know mum would be saying, you really don’t have to do this.”

But for the 17-year-old and his dad, from Hemlington, this is a unique way to say thanks to the hospice that helped care for Emma and ensure the charity can continue its work supporting families affected by cancer.

Mum-of-two, Emma, was just 37 when she lost her battle with breast cancer last year.

Leo, who was sitting his GCSEs at the time, said: “Everyone was glad the hospice was there to help.”

During those final weeks, he has fond memories of the family being together in the communal area outside her room, taking turns spending time with his mum.  Now they want to give something back.

Leo said: “I don’t know where the idea of the skydive came from, but someone suggested it and I said, why not?”

The jump will take place on March 31, which would have been Emma’s 38th birthday.

Taking part in the Middlesbrough Half Marathon came later, an idea from Leo to help dad shed a few pounds in preparation for the skydive.  His sister Amelia, eight, will be on the sidelines cheering them on.

“I wasn’t expecting dad to be so keen, but he was,” said Leo. 

Now in training Kyle, 38, is hitting the gym and the treadmill every other day.

As for Leo, who now studies engineering at NETA Training, works part-time as a waiter at The Old Poste House in Middlesbrough and is training to be a swimming instructor, he said: “I jumped straight into training with a seven-mile run, but I know there’s more to be done.”

Preparing himself for both challenges and thankful for all the support they have received along the way, he said: “A half marathon and a skydive isn’t something you get the chance to do every day. 

“I’m looking forward to being able to say I have done it, to know I have raised money for the hospice, and to have the chance to do this with my dad and aunty.”

If you would like to show your support for Leo, Kyle and Katie, visit: Kyle Davies is fundraising for Teesside Hospice (justgiving.com) or Katie McGouran is fundraising for Teesside Hospice (justgiving.com)


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