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Gutsy Grandmother Jumps for Cancer Charity


Cancer. The big “C” word nobody likes to hear, yet sadly and unavoidably it affects 1 in 3 kiwis.

Betty Van Rooyen, a very young and comical 80 year old had decided to do something to help those in need.. by skydiving from 16,500ft! She teamed up with The Nelson Cancer Society and managed to raise $1,500 in as little as 2 weeks!

“When I retired I wanted to do something useful and this, to me, is the most worthwhile cause,”  she said of her volunteer work with the society.

The big day rolled around bringing with it perfect skydiving weather! Betty and her entourage of about 25 friends and family arrived at the Drop Zone, along with a couple of reporters from One News, and the Nelson Mail.

“Is that a chastity belt or something?” laughed Betty as she was getting kitted out in her jumpsuit and safety harness by Tandem Master Rod. Nerves didn’t seem to get in the way of this gutsy grandma’s funny bone.

After a 20 minute scenic flight up to 16,500ft followed by 70 seconds of freefall over Abel Tasman National Park at 200kph Betty gilded back down to earth. Once the adrenalin had time to settle, Betty could reflect on her skydive experience as she celebrated with a well-earned glass of bubbly with friends.

“It was incredible, I want to go again!” she recounted, “I can’t believe I did it, once the parachute opened it was heaven on earth”.

“We are so thankful to have heroes like Betty who seek to do well for others in the community and are happy to help get behind such an amazing cause.” Stuart Bean. Owner Operator Skydive Abel Tasman.

Together we raised almost $34,000 dollars for the Nelson Cancer Society. We love getting involved with awesome, creative community focused project but this one stands out for us professionally and personally. Thanks to everyone who participated and made it possible! look for round two in 2018!

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