Daredevil Lisa’s 12,000-ft leap in memory of Monmouth schoolboy

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A daredevil Monmouth woman will be leaping from 12,000 feet this month to raise funds for a cause close to her heart.

Mrs Lisa Hicks will be taking part in her first skydive in memory of Tom Walker and is raising money for the fund established by Cancer Research Wales in his name.

Lisa is a close friend of Tom's family and is looking forward to her tandem parachute jump on Sunday 27th June.

"I am excited if a little terrified by the prospect as it's something I have never done before," said Mrs Hicks, who will be cheered on by her children Alexander, Morgan and Lukas and husband, Antony.

"I enjoy scuba-diving, am qualified personal trainer, and I have done a half-marathon to raise money for the British Heart Foundation, but I have never jumped out of a plane at 12,000 feet before.

"We are an adventurous family, who like to be active, and I thought I would give it a go to raise money for a brilliant cause and to remember such a special young man."

Tom Walker, a quiet, considerate and caring boy, was a pupil at Monmouth School for Boys, when he died from acute myeloid leukaemia (AML), a rare but aggressive form of cancer, aged just 13, in June 2018.

Tom's sisters, Holly and Emily, and his family have been at the forefront of a wonderful community campaign which has raised more than £160,000 to date, in his memory.

The first recipient of the Tom Walker Cancer Research Wales PhD Studentship for Acute Myeloid Leukaemia Research, Theo Morin, started at the Cardiff University School of Medicine, based at the University Hospital of Wales, in January.

The work is being done in the world-renowned laboratory of Professor Andrew Sewell in Cardiff and overseen by Professor Oliver Ottmann, the Head of Haematology and the AML Research Unit at the University Hospital of Wales.

Now Tom's family and friends are working hard to raise money to fund a second recipient in the new scholarship.

"My eldest son was good friends with Tom and, as families, we shared a few days' holiday together in Spain where the boys went to watch Barcelona play Real Madrid in the football," said Mrs Hicks.

"Overall, I am very keen to highlight the wonderful fund that is raising money in Tom's name, the research that is being done into Acute Myeloid Leukaemia research and to show that we all remember Tom, who would think my skydive is hilarious.

"I also want to show that life is precious and if we can raise awareness of acute myeloid leukaemia and to keep it fresh in people's minds then it would be a very positive thing too."

Mrs Hicks' skydive is part of The Big Welsh Jump in Swansea run by Cancer Research Wales.

To donate to Mrs Hicks' challenge in aid of Tom's fund, please visit: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/Hicks-Lisa?fbclid=IwAR16_oumCdpm1etFhLvNUommKYHSYm-yXoiG3L3eu3dW0GDa0uWRNQTUmZQ

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