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Fiona’s Wild Geese Skydive Fundraiser
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County Armagh woman Fiona Loughran has leapt from the skies in aid of Action MS and raised £3,785.00 as a result. Qualified hairdresser Fiona leapt out of a plane at 13,000 feet as part of a sponsored skydive at the Wild Geese Centre in Garvagh. She even had the magical moment captured on DVD.
 
Thirty four year old Fiona who has had MS for four years made up her mind that she wanted to do a skydive at some stage and with great determination she achieved her ambition.
 
She said: “There were eight of us who did it including my husband Gary. Shortly before the jump I was going through a relapse,  my balance had gone and I said to myself that one day I would do the skydive and I did it.
“My MS is grand at the minute but it can flare up again, I know the symptoms.
“But if you said to me would you do a skydive in the morning I’d do it. I loved it. The only time I got nervous was when we were sitting at the edge of the plane. We did it in groups of four and my husband and I were the first up. It was a clear day and all went well.”
 
Having MS means Fiona has had to adapt to different situations. If she goes on a long shopping trip Fiona uses a wheelchair and indeed she used a wheelchair recently at the Ireland versus France rugby international match in Dublin. She adds: “They can’t do enough for you inside Croke Park. I had a good view and I even had three balloons given to me by a Frenchman.”
 
Recalling her time as a hairdresser Fiona pointed out that the job was ‘Great’. “I was a barber. You would spend 13 minutes with one customer, then move onto the next person and hear his story”
 
And in terms of her determination in securing sponsorship Fiona added: “I could sell snow to an Eskimo”. No doubt she could !
 
Fiona has presented Action MS Fundraising Executive Ian Waterhouse with a cheque for £3,785.00. The proceeds raised were also the result of a ‘Texas Hold Em’ night of card playing poker in Clady Hall.
 
Action MS Executive Director Jayne Smyth welcomed Fiona’s efforts saying: “The skydive was a very brave thing for Fiona to do. We are very proud of her and are delighted to see the support she received from her local community.”
 
Action MS is the leading multiple sclerosis charity in Northern Ireland providing practical support for individuals and families. As yet there is no cure for multiple sclerosis. Action MS provides a range of support services including counselling, medicare breaks, focus groups for young people and help for young people when a parent is diagnosed with MS.
Action MS information services provide a quarterly magazine for members and a digital inclusion programme, in association with BT, Nortel, KPMG, Business In The Community and Microsoft, that provides members with access to the internet and the worldwide web.Further information on the full range of support available from Action MS is available from Jayne Smyth, Executive Director at Action MS Headquarters, Knockbracken Healthcare Park, Saintfield Road, Belfast, BT8 8BH, telephone: 02890 790707 or e mail jayne@actionms.co.uk. The Action MS website address is www.actionms.co.uk

For further information or to arrange an interview please contact Eugene Mc Cusker, Communications Officer, tel: 02890 790707 or e mail: eugenemccusker@actionms.co.uk

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