A COUNTY Durham woman who has dedicated herself to fundraising since losing her 23-year-old daughter Toni and 61-year-old husband Phil to different types of cancer has continued her charitable efforts by completing a skydive.

Despite her massive fear of heights, Sharon Chorley, from Consett, joined 12 other people to take part in the ‘Jump of Their Lives’ Macmillan fundraiser; raising £30,000 from the challenge, part of an ongoing annual charity partnership between York Racecourse and Macmillan.

Sharon, 59, who owns ladies boutique fashion store TLC Clothing in Blackhill, named after her daughter’s initials, regularly holds raffles, events, and takes part in charity challenges including Macmillan Mighty Hike events to raise money for Macmillan Cancer Support.

Read more: Newcastle man thanks firefighters who saved his life after suicide attempt

She does this to make sure her daughter and husband are never forgotten.

The Consett mum, who also has a son Karl, was left devastated in 2009 when her daughter Toni, who had just moved to London after graduating with a theatre arts and business studies degree, died from Hodgkins Lymphoma, a type of blood cancer.

This tragedy came shortly after her husband Phil died from Bowel Cancer that had spread to his liver.

“I love trying new things,” said Sharon.

The Northern Echo: Sharon's daughter, Toni. Picture: SHARON CHORLEY.Sharon's daughter, Toni. Picture: SHARON CHORLEY.

“I was expecting to be terrified in the plane but on the day, I was first to jump, the sun was shining, and I just got up and jumped out. It was an amazing experience. And to do it whilst raising money for Macmillan is just fantastic, they are a charity that is like another friend when you go through a cancer experience, and they give you strength. I’m delighted to fundraise for them.”

Since then, over the 12 years after her tragedy-hit period, Sharon is personally closing in on raising £40,000 for Macmillan with a little help from her skydive, which she completed in Bridlington on April 29.

Speaking about the loss of her daughter and husband, she said: “Obviously it was a very difficult time.

“I was having to support them both through treatment and shuttling between hospital and home to be there for both. There are times now when it all feels like a dream, but I promised them I would not let them be forgotten and this sky dive is part of the commitment I made to them.”

The Northern Echo: Sharon and her late husband Phil. Picture: SHARON CHORLEY.Sharon and her late husband Phil. Picture: SHARON CHORLEY.

“Phil was very pre-occupied with what was happening too Toni and by the time he presented at the doctor his prognosis was not good.”

Sharon has had her own recent brush with cancer, but had the lump successfully removed late last year.

The Northern Echo: Toni and Sharon Chorley. Picture: SHARON CHORLEY.Toni and Sharon Chorley. Picture: SHARON CHORLEY.

She is currently supporting one of her best friends after a recent liver cancer diagnosis.

Sharon added: “Cancer is something that can affect anybody at any time and most of us will know someone or have had the disease ourselves during our lifetimes.

The Northern Echo: The ‘Jump of Their Lives’ charity skydive team. Picture: MACMILLAN.The ‘Jump of Their Lives’ charity skydive team. Picture: MACMILLAN.

Macmillan is a fantastic charity that provides support for all those affected by cancer from clinical expertise with their cancer specialist nurses and other clinicians to the emotional, psychological, and practical support offered to friends and family.”

Jill Campbell, area fundraising manager for the North East of England for Macmillan, said: “Sharon is an amazing person who has turned an overwhelming personal tragedy into a force for good.

The Northern Echo: Sharon fundraising for Macmillan. Picture: SHARON CHORLEY.Sharon fundraising for Macmillan. Picture: SHARON CHORLEY.

“We are so grateful to her and the money she’s raised has been used to help others living with or affected by cancer, a fantastic legacy that she’s created as a fitting tribute to Toni and Phil.”

You can donate to Sharon’s Macmillan tribute page for Toni and Phil Chorley here.

Keep up to date with all the latest news on our website, or follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

You can also follow our dedicated County Durham Facebook page for all the latest in the area by clicking here.

For all the top news updates from right across the region straight to your inbox, sign up to our newsletter here.

Have you got a story for us? Contact our newsdesk on newsdesk@nne.co.uk or contact 01325 505054