Breast cancer survivor and her granddaughter prepare to skydive for charity

Joan Riggall and granddaughter, Ellie, will be skydiving on August 19.
Joan Riggall and granddaughter, Ellie, will be skydiving on August 19.

A Louth woman who beat breast cancer will be joined by her granddaughter to make a great leap forward later this month for two good causes.

Joan Riggall, 72, and her granddaughter Ellie, 19, will be taking to the skies in Hibaldstow on Sunday, August 19, as the prepare for a daring skydive from 15,000 feet.

The pair have already raised over £1,000 and they are hoping to raise even more as the big day approaches, with all the funds to be divided between two good causes that supported Joan through her breast cancer battle last year.

Joan was a fit and healthy woman, and a keen walker and cyclist, before she was diagnosed with breast cancer in February last year.

But, with the support from her friends, family, and her ‘absolutely amazing’ medical team, she was determined to beat the disease.

Joan told the Leader: “It was a big shock, but I knew I had to face it and get on with it.

“I never felt depressed or fed up, I’ve always felt so happy throughout the journey as I have an amazing network of my loving family and friends.

“I wouldn’t be where I am today if it was not for them.”

Joan underwent six rounds of chemotherapy and around 200 injections at the Diana, Princess of Wales Hospital in Grimsby, and more than a dozen rounds of radiotherapy at Castle Hill Hospital in Hull.

Joan was also unlucky enough to suffer from pneumonia after her second round of chemotherapy, although this thankfully cleared up after 11 days in hospital.

In August last year, after more than six months battling breast cancer, Joan was given the fantastic news that she had beaten the disease.

Joan said: “It was absolutely amazing to get the all clear.

“It was a big relief, and it was an amazing journey. I’ve already been able to get back into swimming and walking.”

The Pink Rose Suite (the dedicated breast cancer unit at the Diana, Princess of Wales Hospital) and the Macmillan Nurses will both benefit from the money raised.

Joan said she is not nervous about her upcoming skydive - which takes place two days before her 73rd birthday - and she is relishing the challenge of leaping from 15,000 feet.

Joan said: “It will be absolutely amazing. I cannot wait, and Ellie’s the same - she takes after her grandmother!”

You can make a donation online at www.justgiving.com/fundraising/joan-riggall.

Alternatively, visit one of the following locations where you can find a collection box:

Make a donation in one of the six collection boxes at shops and businesses in Louth.

• Lakings of Louth butchers in Eastgate

• Rosewood Foot Health Care in Church Street

• Louth Town & Country Club in Cannon Street

• Stephenson’s Fruit and Veg in Eastgate

• Sapphire Hair and Beauty in Eastgate

• The Brackenborough Hotel in Cordeaux Corner

There are also more than a dozen sponsor forms around the town, including at Louth County Hospital.