Local ladies take the plunge to help Riley walk

Kim and Emma are pictured before their skydive in aid of Riley's First Steps.
Kim and Emma are pictured before their skydive in aid of Riley's First Steps.

TWO LOCAL women took the plunge for charity recently when they skydived for the first time.

Kim Emerson and Emma Rose each undertook a tandem jump from 10,000 feet last month to help raise funds for Riley’s First Steps, the fund set up to send Montrose boy Riley Murray to the United States for life-changing surgery.

Kim (27) and Emma (19) both work alongside Riley’s dad, Dale, at National Oilwell Varco and decided that they wanted to make a positive contribution to the fund.

They gathered their courage and booked the jump, which was carried out from Glenrothes Airfield in Fife.

Kim said: “Because Dale’s a friend we wanted to help raise funds and both of us have always wanted to do a skydive.

“We felt that if we were going to do it, it should be for something worthwhile.”

They began collecting sponsorship around two weeks before from friends, family and colleagues and raised the sum of £1,610.

Although neither of them had skydived before and despite a long wait until take-off, Kim said that neither of them was nervous until they were in the air and the door opened for the actual jump.

She said: “We were there from 8.30am and had about an hour of training and a safety lecture, but there were about 20 other people jumping and between that and waiting for the right weather conditions we didn’t take off until around 4.30pm.

“We were both completely fine when we were in the plane but as soon as the door was opened the nerves kicked in, although we didn’t have a chance to think about what we were away to do.

“Before the parachute opened we didn’t really feel anything because we were falling so fast but when it did open it felt like it does when you’re in a lift, although it was a bit frightening seeing the ground approaching so fast.

“I would definitely do it again.”

All funds contributed to Riley’s First Steps have been put towards the £55,000 cost of sending six-year-old Riley, who has cerebral palsy, and his family to the St Louis Children’s Hospital in Missouri for the operation. They flew out to the US almost two weeks ago.

The procedure, a selective dorsal rhizotomy, involves identifying and cutting nerve roots within Riley’s spine that cause his spasticity resulting in smoother, freer movements allowing him to walk for the first time.