Sarah Cocks skydives for Mouth Cancer Action

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Sarah Cocks and Teresa McGailey skydive 15,000 feet for Mouth Cancer Action. Gavin Hawes reports...

Jumping out of a plane from 15,000 feet to raise money and awareness of mouth cancer may sound extreme. But that's precisely what mouth cancer fundraiser extraordinaire Sarah Cocks has achieved.

On Friday 1 September 36-year-old mum of two Sarah, (above left) and her 40-year-old friend Teresa McGailey (right) went to new heights, quite literally, as they completed a charity skydive to raise money and awareness for Mouth Cancer Action. Sarah was inspired to jump in aid of mouth cancer action by Charlie Rees’ moving battle with mouth cancer, a battle she tragically lost earlier this year. Sarah, from Bishopstoke, Eastleigh, conquered the highest possible tandem jump altitude in the UK to master her fears.

She explained: “Charlie Rees' work in aid of mouth cancer action throughout her journey, her determination and strength, have been a great inspiration to many people. So, when Teresa and I decided to do this, adding to her legacy seemed like a very fitting thing to do.

“Since separating from my husband in March, after being together for 18 years, I figured if I can conquer my greatest fears then being a strong independent mother certainly can't be as scary. Heights has long since been top of that list. Go big or go home, right?”

When Sarah finally had her feet back on solid ground she spoke about her experience: “It was amazing. Weirdly, I was strangely calm in the plane, even seeing the camera man holding onto the outside of the plane by his fingertips as I jumped.

“The last thought I had as I jumped was, remember to breathe, keep your eyes open because you won't see this again, and my shoe lace is undone!

“Free falling was like nothing else, but at 125mph it burns to breathe. When I landed I was a jabbering wreck though, could hardly stand for the adrenaline.”

Sarah managed to smash her £400 fundraising target in just two weeks and her amazing contribution will go towards ensuring that more cases of mouth cancer can be caught early.

It is estimated that over the next decade around 60,000 people in the UK will be diagnosed with mouth cancer and without early detection its estimated half of those will not survive.

Mouth cancer can appear as a painless mouth ulcer that does not heal normally, red or white patches in the mouth or lumps and swellings in the mouth. It is important to visit your dentist if these areas do not heal within three weeks.
You can still donate to show your support for Sarah through her JustGiving page.

If you would like to raise funds for Mouth Cancer Action by taking part in your own challenge please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for information on how we can support you.

Author

Gavin Hawes is with the Oral Health Foundation.