Friend’s daughter Lara inspires David’s dive for hospice
Originally posted, July 2015
When the managing director of Sheffield-based firm DBL Logistics agreed to do a sponsored skydive in aid of a Children’s Hospice, little did he know that his decision would be ratified by the bravery of a school friend’s daughter and her family.
Being afraid of heights, skydiving was not something David Clarkson had even considered until setting foot inside the North Anston-based Bluebell Wood Children’s Hospice at Sheffield United’s Christmas community visit last year.
But he was overwhelmed by the bravery and commitment shown by the children, parents and staff alike.
David asked a staff member if there was anything he could do to help out and ended up registering for the 15,000-foot skydive – which he will do on Sunday (July 12) at Lincoln’s Hibaldstow Airfield.
“I saw the staff in action and I just wanted to do anything I could to help them out,” said David. “The staff I spoke to suggested doing a skydive and even though I’m terrified of heights I signed up straight away.”
It was only recently that David discovered that six-year-old Lara Spooner, daughter of school friend Jeremy, frequently visits the hospice for care for Jouberts Syndrome, a rare genetic condition passed to her by her parents’ recessive gene.
Lara’s cerebellum – the base of her brain – is not properly formed, making automatic functions of the brain difficult. Lara cannot swallow, she finds muscle control difficult, and her retina has not formed properly. She also has regular apnea attacks, meaning that care and respite at Bluebell Wood Children’s Hospice is all the more crucial.
“I spoke to Jeremy about whether or not he was okay with me sharing Lara’s story on my personal page and on our business page and he just said it was fine,” said David.
“He said the hospice had been invaluable and brilliant to them as a family, which made me feel that what I was doing [the skydive] was even more justified.
“When someone you know goes through something like that and you see the effects for yourself you just want to do anything you can – even skydiving.”
David’s company, DBL Logistics, is based on Tinsley Park Road, Sheffield and is one of the region’s fastest-growing logistics firms.
Also, the firm is the back-of-shirt sponsor of Sheffield United, which David hopes will enable him to raise even more money for Bluebell Wood Hospice.
“I’m doing it purely off what I saw at Christmas, and now I’ve found out what the hospice has done for Lara, that’s further reinforced the reason I’m doing it.”
Gail Parkin, community fundraiser at Bluebell Wood Children’s Hospice, said: “David is without doubt doing a very brave and generous thing for Bluebell Wood Children’s Hospice. It takes a lot of guts to do something like a sponsored skydive.
“We are so very grateful for the support we get from everyone in our communities. We need to raise more than £3m a year to keep our doors open and every penny raised really does count and makes a positive difference to our children and families. “Our hospice is filled with love and laughter, we are here to create special memories at times when families need us most.”