A dad-of-two is taking the plunge this weekend as he jumps out of a plane for charity – despite the fact he is scared of heights.
Darran Loader’s parachute jump is just one of six challenges that he has set himself during a six month period.
Last month Darran, 39, of Kirk Michael, kicked off the challenges when he completed the Blackpool marathon in five hours despite injuring himself.
As well as the parachute jump the police officer will tackle three more marathons and a desert trek, in aid of a charity close to his heart – Bowel Cancer Isle of Man.
He said: ‘I’m very nervous having to jump out of a plane at 13,000 feet but it’s always something I’ve wanted to do and I’m hoping I can conquer my fear of heights.’
Darran is coming close to raising his target of £2,000 for the charity, in memory of his late father Shaun and father-in-law Clive.
Before his dad was diagnosed in March 2008, Darran, like many other people, knew little about bowel cancer and he is hoping to raise awareness of the condition.
Constable Loader said: ‘It was after my dad passed away that I thought I would do something.
‘It is a charity close to my heart, it is a good charity and people need to be made aware of bowel cancer.
‘It is not just older ones who I want to take notice of it, it is the younger ones as well. If you think something is wrong just go for the tests – there is no harm in it, it saves lives.’
Recalling a moving moment at the Blackpool marathon, Constable Loader, who lives with his wife Louise and children Francesca, four, and Jacob, two, said: ‘As I was running the last 50 metres to the finish line, Francesca jumped out of her seat and in front of photographers ran on to the finish track and grabbed my hand.
‘We finish the race together hand-in-hand, father and daughter.
‘It was very emotional, the highlight wasn’t finishing the race but finishing it with my daughter and having my Louise and Jacob there at the end.’
Francesca was born the day after Darran’s father’s funeral, the couple originally didn’t want to find out the sex of their first born.
‘Two days before he fell into a coma and passed away, we went into the hospital and found out the sex of the baby so we could tell him we were going to have a baby girl. At least he knew that before bowel cancer took him away.’ added Darran.
Heather Norman, of Bowel Cancer Isle of Man, said: ‘Bowel Cancer IoM greatly appreciates Darran’s support and the amount of time and effort he is putting into his fundraising challenges on its behalf.
‘Our primary aim is to raise awareness of bowel cancer, its symptoms, treatments and the screening programme.
‘People like Darran, who have had personal experience of family members or close friends diagnosed with bowel cancer, know how important it is for us to promote early diagnosis in order to save lives.’
Darran will take part in the Belfast marathon on May 6.
To sponsor Darran visitbowelcanceriom.com