Taking a leap into the unknown for charity

Anthony Houghton-Brown
Anthony Houghton-Brown

A retired schoolmaster with Parkinson’s Disease is jumping out of a plane today, Saturday, in a bid to help people affected by the disease.

Sixty-six-year-old Anthony Houghton-Brown, from Tingewick, is taking part in a tandem skydive to raise funds for Parkinson’s UK.

Mr Houghton-Brown will be jumping out of a plane at 10,000ft (about two miles high) at Netheravon Airfield, near Salisbury, Wiltshire.

He will be joined by 35 other Parkinson’s UK supporters. and has already raised more than £6,000 towards the charity’s work to find a cure and improve life for people affected by Parkinson’s, a progressive neurological condition.

Mr Houghton-Brown, who taught history and religious studies at Akeley Wood School for nearly 30 years, said: “I’m very excited and looking forward to it. I’m only sorry it’ll only last four or five minutes.”

He added: “My mother always wanted to parachute, but she is now 97 so we said no.

“However, that gave me the idea to jump for Parkinson’s.

“My only experience is a few minutes in an Airkix vertical wind tunnel, so this will be a new and exciting challenge.”

Mr Houghton-Brown first began noticing symptoms of Parkinson’s in 2006, affecting his speech and movement.

He said: “If I talk for too long, my voice becomes tired.

“And it affects my walking. If I don’t take the tablets, I start to shuffle. The point is, it’s incurable and it gets progressively worse. You can stave it off with tablets and exercise and positive attitude but it will win in the end.”

As well as funding research into a cure for the disease, Parkinson’s UK offers information and support to people with Parkinson’s, their families and carers.

Donate online at http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/AnthonyHoughtonBrown