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Health care assistant turned Norwich nursing student to face fear of heights and jump from 14,000ft for charity

PUBLISHED: 17:09 27 November 2017 | UPDATED: 17:24 27 November 2017

Becky Herdman, who is fundraising for the Big C. Photo: Julian Claxton Photography/Big C

Becky Herdman, who is fundraising for the Big C. Photo: Julian Claxton Photography/Big C

Julian Claxton Photography/Big C

A healthcare assistant turned nursing student with first-hand experience of cancer care will take to the skies to make a 14,000ft jump for charity.

Becky Herdman, who is fundraising for the Big C. Photo: Julian Claxton Photography/Big C Becky Herdman, who is fundraising for the Big C. Photo: Julian Claxton Photography/Big C

Becky Herdman, who studies at the University of East Anglia (UEA) was described as a “superstar supporter” of Norfolk cancer charity the Big C - and even started the Big C society at the university.

But Miss Herman, who used to work on the oncology ward at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital, will wind up her year of fundraising with a daring skydive.

Miss Herdman, 27 and from Norwich, said: “Before I started working on the ward I was quite anxious, I thought it would be an incredibly sad place to work but it wasn’t like that at all. We had a giggle with the patients and I built some really strong relationships. It was always so lovely to stay in touch with many of our patients and always a joy to see those in remission who visited us with chocolates and thank you cards. I feel very privileged to have worked with such wonderful and inspirational people.”

She said it was working on the ward that cemented her decision to study nursing.

Becky Herdman, who is fundraising for the Big C. Photo: Julian Claxton Photography/Big C Becky Herdman, who is fundraising for the Big C. Photo: Julian Claxton Photography/Big C

Miss Herdman’s personal life has also been touched by cancer - she lost her grandfather to brain cancer when she was very young.

She said: “What happened to my granddad seemed very sudden. He went from being a very active and healthy man, making dens with us and pushing us around in wheelbarrows, to becoming extremely poorly. We were very close and although many years have passed, he is still sorely missed.”

Miss Herdman has not only cared for many individuals with cancer but more recently she has now been directly fundraising to support Big C. She has taken part in various events and initiatives including the UEA’s Pimp my Barrow event, held a bake sale and last summer, Miss Herdman - who is afraid of heights - faced her fears and took part in Big C’s bungee jump event raising £300.

She said: “Cancer patients have to face things that scare them every day so this is just my way of acknowledging that. I wanted to do the same, to show solidarity and my support but also to raise some more much-needed funds for the charity.”

Clive Evans, director of income generation and communications at Big C said: “Tis the season for giving and for celebrating; can there be a better way to combine the two than with a sponsored Santa Jump to raise money for those in our community affected by cancer this Christmas? Every penny raised will go directly to help Big C fund our four local support and information centres, ground-breaking research at Norwich Research Park and state of the art medical equipment. Friends and family are welcome to come along and watch your skydive. We can’t promise reindeer, but a big red suit is compulsory for everyone taking par.!”

The action takes place on Saturday, December 9, from 8.30am. Find out more and sign up by clicking here.

Mr Evans added: “We are incredibly grateful to Becky for her super-human efforts for Big C this year. She’s been an inspiration and is again challenging herself on our behalf by taking part in the Santa Jump. We’ll be sure to give her a Big C cheer on the day.”

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