Natalie’s big leap for Grandma

Natalie Ashe from Southport took part in her first ever skydive in memory of her grandma, raising £1,500. Here, she shares her experience of taking on the challenge.


“My Nan, Jennifer Ashe, died in January 2016 following a long battle with PHA. I noticed that when talking about her condition, few people had actually heard of it. I felt compelled to do something to raise awareness and at the same, raise funds to support the charity that does so much amazing work. One of my friends suggested a sponsored Skydive. To say I wasn’t overwhelmingly keen about the idea initially is an understatement but in early April as I sat with my legs dangling out of a plane at 15,000 feet above Lancashire, I realised that there was no way back.

I felt a combination of excitement combined with total unadulterated fear and panic! Fortunately, I wasn’t alone as strapped to my back was Chris, a veteran skydiver.  I discovered over the next 60 seconds as I fell to earth at 125mph how a Tandem Skydive is an easy and enjoyable way to experience the thrills of skydiving without having to learn how. The exhilarating freefall combined with the peace and tranquillity of the parachute ride makes Tandem Skydiving a unique experience.

The Skydive was unquestionably one of the most exciting moments in my life – the build-up, the jump and the aftermath. That said, it was never lost on me why I did it – and I was so pleased that I could raise money for a cause as amazing as PHA. Friends ere immensely generous and the final amount was £1500.

I’m grateful to all those who helped me. My family and friends who donated, the ‘Black Nights’ Sky Diving team who organise charity jumps and PHA for doing so much good for so many, with so little.”


If you would like to take on a challenge to raise money for PHA UK, please contact us on  01709 761450 or email

Last medically reviewed: June, 2016 • June, 2019