Friday 13th April 2012
The father of a nine-month-old boy who lost his fight with meningitis is commemorating his son's birthday by jumping out of a plane.
Lee Ruck will be taking part in a skydive in memory of Joel Selwyn Ruck who died on New Year's Eve 2009 after contracting pneumococcal meningitis.
Since Joel's death, Lee, Joel's mother Kimberlyn Dela Cruz, and their friends from Epsom have marked his birthday. This year, Lee will mark what would have been Joel's third birthday by skydiving to raise funds for Meningitis UK.
Lee, who became a father again in January, said: "I am doing this to remember my son and what made him ill and I am skydiving to support the vital vaccine work that Meningitis UK funds.
"I felt quite calm about the skydive until I read the bit about it being from 12,000 feet. I'm going to go with the flow, ask me how I feel on the way down."
On the same weekend Kimberlyn's best friend Anna Chuicharoen will be taking part in the Virgin London Marathon to raise money for the charity, which funds lifesaving research to eradicate all forms of meningitis.
Anna, from Islington, said: "We raised £6,000 for Meningitis UK last year, 12 months after what would've been Joel's first birthday and we pledged to so something each year around his birthday."
Meningitis UK chief executive Kate Rowland said: "We have been completely inspired by Kimberlyn, Lee and their friends' positivity and determination to help us raise life-saving funds and awareness of meningitis."
To support Lee and Anna visit http://www.meningitisuk.tributefunds.com and search for Joel Selwyn Ruck in the Forever Funds section.