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Little Update

Posted in Personal Blog

This is the third Monday in a row I’ve not been well enough to do my photography coursework BUT the PEM I’m currently experiencing is totally worth it.

On Saturday in the small wee hours my hubby drove myself and Keisha, my eldest, over Peterborough way to a small airfield. The reason for our journey was that Keisha had signed up to do a tandem skydive to raise funds for animal free research. Being vegan Keisha is passionate about animal welfare, something we fully support.

On her fundraising page she explains..

“On September 30th I will be taking part in Skydive for World Animal Day and doing a 10,000 ft skydive to raise money for Animal Free Research UK.

Some info about medical testing on animals (from
The harmful use of animals in experiments is not only cruel but also often ineffective. Animals do not get many of the human diseases that people do, such as major types of heart disease, many types of cancer, HIV, Parkinson’s disease, or schizophrenia. Instead, signs of these diseases are artificially induced in animals in laboratories in an attempt to mimic the human disease. Yet, such experiments belittle the complexity of human conditions which are affected by wide-ranging variables such as genetics, socio-economic factors, deeply-rooted psychological issues and different personal experiences. It is not surprising to find that treatments showing ‘promise’ in animals rarely work in humans. Not only are time, money and animals’ lives being wasted (with a huge amount of suffering), but effective treatments are being mistakenly discarded and harmful treatments are getting through. The support for animal testing is based largely on anecdote and is not backed up, we believe, by the scientific evidence that is out there.

Animals and humans are different. 95% of drugs fail in human trials despite promising results in animal tests and in addition to being unreliable, animal testing can actually be dangerous for human health. Vioxx, a drug used to treat arthritis, was found to be safe when tested in monkeys (and five other animal species) but has been estimated to have caused around 320,000 heart attacks and strokes and 140,000 deaths worldwide. Human volunteers testing a new monoclonal antibody treatment (TGN1412) at Northwick Park Hospital, UK in 2006 suffered a severe allergic reaction and nearly died. Testing on monkeys at 500 times the dose given to the volunteers totally failed to predict the dangerous side effects. A clinical trial of Hepatitis B drug fialuridine had to be stopped because it caused severe liver damage in seven patients, five of whom died. It had been tested on animals first.

Not only is testing on animals incredibly cruel (IMO), it’s just bad science.

In the UK in 2015, 4.1 million research procedures took place on animals. Animal Free Research UK is redefining research, investing in scientists so they can make the breakthroughs that push medicine forward without the use of animals. Since 1970, we have awarded grants to over 200 projects. These include research into cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, asthma, diabetes, kidney, heart and liver disease, to name only a few. With your amazing support, we can advance human health and end the use of animals in medical research!”

Now, for many this is a hugely frightening experience pre~jump but more so for Keisha as she is neurodivergent and prone to anxiety attacks. So you can imagine our joy and pride when she took it all in her stride, kept a check on her nerves and not only jumped, but was also allowed to steer her own parachute until it was time to land.

She had two incredible young men support her through the entire process and they were her instructor and tandem jump buddy along with camera man, recording and photographing the entire jump.

I managed to fire off a few photos, but they aren’t brilliant as were taken on full zoom because we weren’t allowed in the jumpers enclosure. We were however cheering and supporting her from our vantage point in the family areas.

We are looking forward to seeing the video and images taken by the skydiving club because they are taken in very high definition and are of her in the plane and jumping out, free falling then steering and landing. Images I simply had no way of capturing.

I hope you enjoy my images below and when I have the professional photos and video of the jump will be uploading them here for you to enjoy.

When we arrived at the landing point we found it to be next to a burnt out car ~ now that isn’t something I get to see every day, nor would I want to. I had no time prior to Keisha landing to look at it because we didn’t want to miss a single moment of her journey. However, after the jump she had to return to the base in a mini bus with her instructor and the other jumpers. This meant I had 3 mins or thereabouts to have a quick look at the burnt out vehicle and fire off  a few snaps. I was sad not to have longer to take some good images, but did what I could within the time I had. I thought I would share these with you too..

If you are interested in donating towards animal free research then you can follow this link to Keishas fundraising page, which is still open for receiving donations;

Hopefully next week I will have the energy, chronic illnesses allowing, to continue with my photography course and assignments.

Wishing you a great week ahead.


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