NOTE: This content is old - Published: Tuesday, Aug 2nd, 2011.
A Wrexham mum has taken flight in a 107ft free-fall on the final day of her month long campaign to raise awareness for cancer charities dressed in a chicken suit.
Last month Wrexham.com reported on the feathery antics of Fiona Fletcher from Bersham who dressed up in a chicken suit for the whole of July featuring the logo of a different cancer charity on her outfit every day
Now she has taken flight in an astonishing 107ft free-fall at Tree Tops in Betws y Coed to finish off her campaign, which has raised awareness for 46 different cancer organisations in total.
Fiona’s awareness campaign started off as a spur of the moment idea, but over the course of July she ended up doing over a thousand miles dressed in the chicken suit in just one week including stops in Manchester, Bath, Bournemouth, Scotland and even a stop off in the Lake District where she took a number of holidaymakers by surprise.
Fiona started the not-for-profit group My Name Is Not Cancer following the death of her daughter Megan, aged just 21, who battled with Hodgkin’s lymphoma for 16 months before she sadly passed away in May 2010.
Speaking to Wrexham.com she explained: “I’d been thinking for a while, what can I do on the last day of the campaign? Then the idea of doing a free-fall at Tree Tops came about and I couldn’t think of a better way to finish off than by taking a leap of faith.”
“At the top I realised how high up I was and I felt very vulnerable, which is how many cancer sufferers feel, you have to take a leap of faith.”
“I was poised at the top for 20 seconds with my wings outstretched before I stepped off and when I did it was the most exhilarating thing I’ve ever experienced.”
“When I got to the bottom the photographer asked if I could do it again as the pictures were quite dark, but I appreciated it a whole lot more the second time.”
Fiona told us that the campaign had been difficult at times, she said: “I must have heard every chicken joke going over the last month. It was an exhausting experience both emotionally and physically and I nearly threw my chicken wing in due to exhaustion, but my family gave me a stark reminder that Megan never gave in during her fight with cancer. The enthusiasm of the public kept me going.”
She also spoke of a touching encounter she experienced whilst she was travelling through the country, when an elderly lady who had been diagnosed with cancer several years ago, approached Fiona to share her story. Fiona said: “After she had finished speaking her husband was taken aback and told me that she had never spoken about her experiences before, not even to friends.”
“I’m glad that she felt empowered to speak to me as usually when you talk about cancer it sucks the energy out of people. It was emotionally touching.”
Fiona set up My Name Is Not Cancer in March and the organisation’s website has since gone on to receive 7,000 visitors, she explained that the site had started off as a platform for a pamphlet created by Megan offering advice to people battling with cancer. However, she said that it has since expanded and she is now inviting people to dedicate a wildflower picture to either themselves or someone they know with cancer on the website’s wildflower wall.
Following the success of the chicken suit Fiona is now looking for a new challenge or campaign, she said: “I’m always looking for a unique way to raise awareness, so if anyone has a charity or organisation they want me to raise awareness for they can contact me via the MNINC website.”
The MNINC website can be found here http://www.mynameisnotcancer.com/ and you can also follow Fiona on Twitter via @Fiona_Fletcher.