Five moms who became close friends after losing children to brain tumors have jumped out of a plane together.
Louise Fox, 49, began making online contact with other moms caring for kids with tumors after son George was diagnosed with glioblastoma, aged 13.
During his treatment, Louise met Niki O’Dea Patel, 42, Nikki Treharne, 52, Clair Todd, 48, and Katie Dove, 46.
All of their children were diagnosed with different types of brain tumors, and met on various Facebook pages.
The moms would chat regularly on WhatsApp, exchanging treatment options and supporting each other, alongside three other moms in the same position.
All eight of their children died between 2020 and 2022, and the moms formed a strong friendship to help one another through their grief.
They created the page Forever Moms of Brain Tumor Angels and finally all met in person minutes before five of them jumped out a plane art 13,000ft.
Their jump raised £70,700 for brain cancer charity Tessa Jowell Foundation.
Louise, from Barton-le-Clay in Bedfordshire, said: “We’re all moms to an angel and the skydive helped us feel closer to them.
“Losing George was indescribable.
“I came up with the idea for the jump.
“I’m absolutely petrified of heights but I really wanted to push our boundaries.
“No one else know what it’s like to go through and we’re all part of the same club that no mom wants to be in.
“It was incredible and so emotional when we all met.
“I feel so connected to these moms through our journeys and grief – it was a very special day.”
Louise’s son George was 13 when he died from a brain tumor in April 2022, after surgeries, chemotherapy, and radiotherapy.
While he was receiving treatment, Louise met Niki O’Dea Patel on Facebook, whose eldest son Shay, 13, was diagnosed with same type of tumor in 2018 a seizure.
Niki, from Woburn Sands, Milton Keynes, said: “We were fortunate we got 22 months. He passed in September 2020, but it’s not good enough.
“Louise and I became really close as our sons were the same age.
“I started a charity in his name – Shay’s Smile – and we’ve managed to raise over £250,000 for research.”
Nikki Treharne’s son Ethan, 17, from Sandhurst, Berkshire, battled a glioblastoma brain tumor for two years before he passed away in November 2021.
Katie Dove, from Worth, Kent, started a charity – the Evie Dove Foundation – after her 13-year-old daughter Evie was diagnosed with CMMRD, a gene mutation that makes children predisposed to developing brain tumors.
Evie died 11 months later in April 2021.
Clair Todd, from Blyth, Northumberland, joined the group after her son Connor, 15, died from a medulloblastoma brain tumor in October 2021.
She said: “Louise bought us together on this Facebook group and we’ve helped each other get through the most difficult times.”
Three other moms in their group came on the day to meet the rest of the group for the first time, but couldn’t jump for health reasons.
Rebecca Gaskell, 48, from Rickmansworth, Buckinghamshire, whose daughter Grace, battled the same tumor for two years and died aged 14 in November 2020.
Natasha Taylor, 29, from Luton, Bedfordshire, whose only child Renai, 11, died from a diffuse midline gliomas tumor, joined the friendship group.
Nelly Crick, 32, from Elmswell, Suffolk, lost her youngest son, Harry, in October 2021, aged two.
She said: “Life has never been the same and I wouldn’t wish it on anyone.”
Nelly’s husband Matt, 35, Rebecca’s daughter Imogen, 18, and Natasha’s partner Nath, 30, jumped in their place.
The skydive was held on 14 October 2023 at Sibson Airfield, Peterborough, and the mom said they felt “closer” to their kids ”in heaven”.
Pascale Harvie, president and general manager at JustGiving applauded the moms.
He said: “I’m inspired by the Angel Moms and how they’ve channeled their pain into raising awareness and vital funds to help other children, in memory of their own.
“We’ve seen an outpour of admiration and love for the Angel Moms on JustGiving – Congratulations Angel Moms, you are extraordinary.”
Produced in association with SWNS Talker
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