Poplar wheelchair user with fear of heights set to do one of the world's highest bungee jumps
PUBLISHED: 12:00 09 January 2019
A wheelchair user with a fear of heights is taking on one of the world's highest commercial bungee jumps to raise money for a dog charity.
Jackie Kennedy, of Mallory Close, Poplar, plans to jump 216 metres from the Bloukrans bridge in Western Cape, South Africa, next month in a bid to raise £10,000 for the charity Canine Partners.
Ex-policewoman Jackie said: “I have decided to take part in this challenge to thank Canine Partners for partnering me with the most amazing dog in the world, my precious boy, Kingston.
“My life has been totally transformed in ways I could never imagine. Thanks to this awesome charity and my utterly amazing canine partner, I now have a life where I am living it to the fullest and not merely existing as I was before.”
The 53-year-old NHS volunteer was forced to use a wheelchair full time after nerve damage and problems with her spine left her with severe weakness in her lower body.
Among his tasks, four-year-old black Labrador Kingston helps Jackie get undressed before showering, puts her clothes in the washing machine and passes her a towel.
He also helps Jackie get in and out of bed and fetches things from low shelves on shopping trips.
“Each day of my partnership has been truly magical,” Jackie said. “I now have a life full of fun and adventure. I want to be able to pass that gift of independence on to another disabled person so they too can live a life of independence.”
The £10,000 would sponsor a puppy from its selection at eight-weeks-old through to being matched with a physically disabled person on a waiting list.
On her motivation, Jackie said: “I wanted to take part in something that would challenge me. I have a morbid fear of heights so thought this would be a great opportunity to overcome that fear and make a difference to someone else’s life.”
She added that to help overcome the nerves she was learning meditation and relaxation techniques.
But following a successful jump, Jackie is considering more fundraising ideas including skydiving from 4,000 metres and abseiling down Table Top mountain in Cape Town.
To sponsor Jackie visit justgiving.com or text JAXX93 and either £3, £5 or £10 to 70070.
For more about the charity visit the Canine Partners website.