Skydiver raises money for family friend

First published in Local Kidderminster Shuttle: Photograph of the Author by , Reporter

A FUNDRAISER from Kidderminster has been able to raise more than £700 for Ataxia UK after taking part in a 15,000ft skydive.

Mitchell Hampton, 20, decided to raise money for the charity as Henry Bowers, 11, a family friend, suffers from the disease.

Mr Hampton, who completed the UK’s highest skydive in North Lincolnshire on May 26, said: “Henry is a lively and lovely young boy – he has been through so much.

“I wanted to do something for the family, especially Henry, so I decided to throw myself out of a plane.”

Henry was initially incorrectly diagnosed with Charcot Marie Tooth disease in February last year, however, his condition worsened and upon further tests he was diagnosed with Friedreich Ataxia in October 2013. Friedreich Ataxia is a rare inherited disease that causes damage to the nervous system as well as movement and speech problems.

It usually begins in childhood and leads to impaired muscle coordination that worsens over time.

Henry, a Year 7 pupil at Bewdley High School and Sixth Form Centre, has become reliant on a wheelchair within a short space of time.

Debbie Heritage, Henry’s mother, said: “The school has been very supportive and entered Henry in a national competition for charity, Motivation International, to win a sports wheelchair. “Henry amazingly won the wheelchair and was presented at a basketball match for Worcester Wolves at Worcester Arena.”

Henry’s family said they were overwhelmed by Mr Hampton’s challenge and drove to Scunthorpe to support him on the day.

For more information about the cause or to donate visit

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