Jill cured fear of heights - by jumping out a plane
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Jill after her skydive with her instructor and proud son Callum
JILL with dad Andrew, 82, who was diagnosed with Alzheimer's a number of years ago.
A PARALYSING fear of heights, falling and small aeroplanes should have meant the end of Jill Fraser's charity mission to leap from a plane at 10,000 feet before it even began.
However, thanks to a combination of determination and hypnotherapy, the Macmerry mum-of-one not only defied her phobias but more than doubled her fundraising target.
Jill, 38, has raised nearly £1,300 for Alzheimer Scotland since completing her tandem parachute jump at Skydive St Andrew's, Fife Airport, on Sunday. She was inspired to fundraise for the dementia charity after seeing first-hand the devastating effects of the disease.
Jill told the Courier: "My dad, Andrew, is 82 and has suffered from Alzheimer's for a long time. He has been a resident of Tranent Care Home for the past five years and his mind has deteriorated extremely quickly during that time. He's no longer able to recognise or communicate with us.
"I think that Alzheimer's disease can often be overlooked by society, but what I found while fundraising was that so many people know someone affected by it. It is a horrible illness.
"When my dad was first diagnosed there wasn't a lot of support available. So I know the charity needs every penny it can get to fund further research and help for the families that have a relative suffering and dying from the illness."
Jill also expressed her gratitude to motivational coach Gail Walshe, of Inspire for Impact, who provided a free hypnotherapy session last week to dampen the fundraiser's fear of heights and steel her will for the challenge.
"I can't thank Gail enough because without her help I know I wouldn't have been able to get on that plane," said Jill.
"No one could believe it when I said that I was going to do a skydive because people who know me know I am scared of just about everything, but I wanted to do something that challenged me and that certainly did.
"Of course I was still scared but I wasn't frozen to the spot like I would have been without the hypnotherapy.
"I was very lucky that the weather was so brilliant on the day that I was able to do the skydive on my first visit. It was an amazing experience and I'll never forget it."
Her mother Pearl, sister Dawn Shepherd and little boy Callum were on hand to cheer Jill as she completed the skydive.
"I know my dad would have loved to have been there watching me and that he would have been very proud to see me up there," said Jill, who works as an optical dispenser in Tranent.
"I'd like to thank everyone who has donated from the bottom of my heart. I have been overwhelmed by how generous everyone has been. I'm still collecting donations, so every penny is very welcome."
To make a donation, visit www.justgiving.com/Jill-Fraser0/new/2