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Day to remember for Hannah

PUBLISHED: 12:21 15 August 2008 | UPDATED: 21:04 05 July 2010

A MOTHER has leapt out of a plane to raise money for a charity which gave her daughter a day to remember.

Mandy Coffill decided to do a parachute jump, giving more than £2,500 to the Make a Wish Foundation, after they granted Hannah and the rest of her family a trip of a lifetime.

A MOTHER has leapt out of a plane to raise money for a charity which gave her daughter a day to remember.

Mandy Coffill decided to do a parachute jump, giving more than £2,500 to the Make a Wish Foundation, after they granted Hannah and the rest of her family a trip of a lifetime.

The nine-year-old was diagnosed with a brain tumour in October last year and was one of the first children in the country to have her treatment outside a 10-year clinical trial, with a dual approach of radiotherapy and chemotherapy.

And Make a Wish arranged for Hannah to spend an all expenses paid trip to London taking in the sights, a theatre trip and perhaps most importantly for any girl - a shopping spree.

As a thank you for their generosity, Mandy, 34, set herself a task of jumping out of a plane at Old Buckenham Airfield, near Norwich, where she chose to freefall 12,000ft, to be met by Hannah at the bottom.

The day of the jump was a mixture of jubilation and surprise for Mandy, after her mother, who she thought was at home in Germany turned up to watch her.

“We turned up to the jump early, I booked in as it was supposed to be a 12.30pm, but I was told there was a delay so we were told to go and wait in the café,” said Mandy.

“There were loads of us there and we all sat there having a cup of tea, looking out and watching out of the window when I felt a tap on my shoulder and I turned round and it was my mum and stepdad. She had flown in the day before and was staying with my auntie.”

Eventually after a wait of more than five hours Mandy finally jumped at 5pm, watched by her family and other children Holly 6, and Ben, 3, before her mother had to dash off back to the airport to fly home.

“It was absolutely amazing; there are no words for it. I was waiting and waiting thinking it wasn't going to happen, but when the parachute opened it was like I was in heaven, it was so calm. I'd do it again. Hannah was so chuffed, she came running up to me and gave me a big hug.”

The Make a Wish trip Hannah saw and her family travel by train to London where they were taken to the Hyatt Regency Hotel, off Oxford Street in a pink limousine, with pink seating.

They visited Selfridges, where Hannah was given a wad of cash and a personal shopper to pick out some clothes and toys, while the rest of her family also received gifts.

Mandy said: “They were sweets and muffins in the room, a television with Tom and Jerry on because they knew the children liked that. There was also a fruit platter, lots of games and toys.

“One side of the room was full of mirrors and the other was laid out with clothes for Hannah and she could pick whatever she wanted. She was also given a makeover and given a box of make-up.”

The trip also included a tour on the London Eye, a meal in the Rainforest Café in Shaftsbury Avenue, a visit to Hamleys toy shop and an evening performance at The Lion King stage show just for Hannah and Mandy.

“On the way home we were talking to the conductor and we told him where we had been. He then invited the children into the cabin and they were allowed to toot the horn,” added Mandy.

Mandy said she wanted to thank everyone who had sponsored her so generously for the parachute jump, including her family, friends, staff from the Frying Scotsman, Asda and Suffolk Police, where she works as a part time special constable.

Hannah is now in remission and must return to Addenbrookes Hospital in Cambridge for a scan in November, as well as follow up appointments for the rest of her life.

“She had her last scan on July 11 and some more tests and we got the phone call on the Monday to say she was in remission and there was nothing there,” said Mandy.

Hannah will not receive the all clear for five years, but Mandy said the family were looking onwards and upwards.

“She is an inspiration to everyone,” said her mum.


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