A family of four have pushed their fears to one side to support a charity close to their hearts. A shocking set of circumstances have lead the Argo family to signing up to a 15,000ft Tandem Skydive Guinness World Record Attempt taking place at Skydive UK Ltd in Devon, on 21st June, to raise money for Crohn’s & Colitis UK.
28 year old Fiona Argo from Guernsey, developed Crohn’s disease at the age of 16, but after three years of being wrongly diagnosed as ‘anorexic’, doctors finally discovered the true cause of Fiona’s dramatic weight loss and ill health was actually down to Crohn’s disease; chronic inflammation and ulceration of the intestines.
Suzi Clark, Director of Marketing and Fundraising at Crohn’s and Colitis UK explains that; “Crohn’s disease and Ulcerative Colitis, the inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD) affect more than 260,000 people in the UK alone and most of the new cases diagnosed in 2014 will be young people like Fiona, or children.”
Fiona’s missed diagnosis meant her condition deteriorated rapidly at a time of life she should have been “enjoying uni and partying with friends”. Fiona explains; “I always wanted to go to university to study Philosophy and become a teacher, but instead I was admitted to a psychiatric hospital and wrongly treated for anorexia for three years”. She continues; “I always knew I wasn’t anorexic but it wasn’t until an ulcer perforated in my duodenum and I became incredibly poorly that the doctors finally realised what was wrong. I only needed a simple test to get the correct diagnosis, so it was frustrating that it took the perforation of an ulcer to actually get the diagnosis.”
Once Fiona was accurately diagnosed with Crohn’s disease, she began the correct medical treatment and started her road to recovery. She says; “After a number of operations and medical treatments, I’m now able to look to the future and give something back to a charity I feel I owe so much to. I’ve taken part in a number of fundraising events for Crohn’s & Colitis UK so when I heard about the Guinness World Record Attempt, I knew I had to sign myself and my family up.”
Fiona’s mum Jacqui, 51, is terrified of heights and wasn’t asked if she wanted to take part in the skydive. “I knew mum would do anything to support me and the charity and so I just went ahead and put her name down without asking her first” said Fiona.
Jacqui, who describes the thought of skydiving as “absolutely terrifying” says her friends also think she is “loopy”. “When I told them what my daughter had done, their jaws dropped – just as mine did when I found out I was going to do the 15,000ft skydive!” She continues; “The only reason I’ll go ahead with the jump is to support my daughter and this fantastic charity, but in my opinion, there’s no reason why anyone would ever jump from a perfectly good aircraft so I’m not looking forward to it at all!”
Suzi, from the charity says; “We are immensely grateful to the Argo family who are clearly determined to boost funding in aid of Crohn’s and Colitis UK. We wish them all success in their exciting endeavour on the 21st June and look forward to them all landing safely, hopefully with a new World Record under their belts.”
Fiona’s brother is also taking part and her fiancé Simon is planning to sign up if he can get time away from work. The family will form part of the 260 people needed to break the current world record, which currently stands at 251 and is held in Germany. There are over 50 charities taking part and it’s been predicted that over £150,000 will be raised from the day-long event. If you would like to sponsor the Argo family or sign yourself up to the Record Attempt, please contact event organiser Louise Banks, on 01404 890222 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.