A MAN whose mother and sister are both terminally ill with cancer is to jump off an 829ft building to raise money for charity.
Andrew Chapman, whose mum Mary, 67, and sister Kate, 39, both have incurable cancer, will base-jump off the Stratosphere Hotel in Las Vegas on May 25 in aid of Cancer Research.
Tied only to a harness and cable, Andrew will freefall for eight seconds at speeds of up to 40mph before coming to land on a platform on the ground.
He said: “Rides don’t bother me but I have never done anything like this – it’s something different.
Andrew, 42, said his family’s ordeal started 12 months ago when his sister Kate, 39, was diagnosed with breast cancer.
He said: “She had a lumpectomy then chemotherapy and radiotherapy and then she was given the all clear but about three months after that she found out she had bone cancer.
“She started complaining of pain in her hip. She went back to the doctor and had a scan, and she was diagnosed with bone cancer. They have told her it could be one day or it could be 10 years. Luckily it is stable at the moment.
“Then just before Christmas my mum woke up with a really bad headache and stayed in bed, which isn’t like her, and she was being sick. They got the doctor out and she went to hospital.
“They gave her a scan and they found a 3cm lump on the back of her brain as well as shadows on her lung and one of her kidneys. They can’t operate and they have given her months to live.
“My sister was really upset when she found out about mum, but my mum has been so brave.
“She said, ‘I have had a good life. I’ve seen you grow up, I’ve seen my grandchildren grow up, so what will be will be’.
“My dad, Ivor, has been really good. He runs mum and my sister around where they need to go. He is just there for them, like any husband and dad would be.”
Andrew said he and his partner Bev Cope, who live in Firthcliffe Road, Liversedge, and own A and B Alterations in Heckmondwike, decided to take a break and book a holiday to Las Vegas. Looking at things to do, they found the Stratosphere Skyjump.
Andrew said: “I was telling the lads at the West End pub in Gomersal and they all said, ‘why don’t you do it for charity?’”
He thanked the manager, Andrew English, for letting him put sponsor forms in the pub, as well as friends and family who had sponsored him.
He added: “I feel a bit nervous but I think about what my mum and sister are going through and it’s nothing compared to that. I will be suffering for about 30 seconds, but they are suffering every day of their lives.”
To sponsor Andrew, visit www.justgiving.com/Andy-Chapman69 or call in to the shop, which is next to Morrisons.