Father’s skydiving experience raises awareness of rare disease in Lowestoft

PUBLISHED: 16:53 06 July 2015 | UPDATED: 16:53 06 July 2015

Paul Rains completes his skydive.

Paul Rains completes his skydive.


A young woman who witnessed her father complete a memorable skydive to raise money for a rare disease she suffers from, has described how she cried after receiving so many “overwhelming” donations.

Paul Rains has booked another skydive as he enjoyed the experience so much. Pictures: SubmittedPaul Rains has booked another skydive as he enjoyed the experience so much. Pictures: Submitted

Ashton Rains, 24 suffers from Scleroderma, a disease in which the immune system attacks itself and hardens the skin. Her father Paul, 48, decided to help raise awareness of the disease by completing a skydive at Ellough airfield on Saturday, June 20.

With weather on their side, family, friends and work colleagues gathered to watch Mr Rains make the 20 minute climb to 12,000 feet and show their support for his brave feat.

Miss Rains, who has had mild chemotherapy for her illness, alongside numerous other IV drugs in hospital, said it was a “lovely day” with a “really nice atmosphere”.

“My dad was sent in the plane first and while he went up we were just talking to everyone,” Miss Rains said.

“There were only two people doing a tandem dive but we couldn’t see which one was him. We cheered really loudly for the first person who landed before we realised it wasn’t my dad, so we had to wait for the next one!”

“He was really happy when he done it and he has now booked himself in for another skydive for fun. I guess he loves the adrenaline rush.”

Miss Rains, who went to Denes High School and Great Yarmouth College before studying Drama at the University of Lincoln, said that online donations have hit £900, with £300 also being pledged on sponsor forms.

“I got a lot of anonymous donations from people who saw the first article and said they knew people with Scleroderma,” Miss Rains added.

“I am so thankful to everyone who has donated. When I saw the donations I just cried, I am not used to people saying they know what the disease is or that they have family members with it.”

Scleroderma is a disease in which the immune system attacks itself and hardens the skin. It causes tightening of the skin on the hands, face, chest, arms and other joints and affects around 12,000 people in the UK.

All of the proceeds will go straight to the Scleroderma charity which will help fund new research to help find a possible cure.

Miss Rains has also started a Facebook page called ‘Me, Myself & Scleroderma’ which reaches out to fellow sufferers.

To make a donation visit:

Are you taking part in a charity event? Email:

If you value what this story gives you, please consider supporting the Lowestoft Journal. Click the link in the orange box above for details.

Become a supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Latest from the Lowestoft Journal