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Skydive thrill for brave Basingstoke mum
A BRAVE Basingstoke mum is set to take a massive leap of faith to raise money for a charity which helps people with physical disfigurements.
On October 16, Jessica Whitfield will launch herself from a plane in the hope that her bravery will inspire people to donate money to Changing Faces.
The 28-year-old was born with a severe birthmark called a hemangioma that has disfigured her face, and she has undergone numerous operations to reduce its size.
In an image-obsessed world, the-mother-of-two has come to accept her disfigurement and hopes her charity mission will raise awareness of Changing Faces, to show others that appearance is not everything.
Jessica, who is a carer, said: “Nowadays, the focus is on looking good and being perfect, and I just want people to see that not everyone is ‘perfect’ especially if you have a disfigurement.”
Jessica has proudly put herself in the spotlight to raise awareness of disfigurement, appearing on Channel 4 documentary Beauty and the Beast: The Ugly Face of Prejudice last year, and taking part in a Daily Mail article about women with scars this August.
But she said the skydive in Peterborough will be one of her biggest challenges yet. She added: “It was one of those things I thought ‘let’s just do it’ but then you think about it after and wonder ‘why am I doing this?’.”
She will be joined on the big jump by Adam Pearson, who has neurofibromatosis – a congenital disorder which causes small growths to develop around nerves, leaving his face severely disfigured.
Jessica was just two when she first had surgery to reduce the size of the birthmark, and she had an operation almost every year after until she began secondary school.
Her treatment is ongoing, and her last hospital stay was just a few months ago in July when she had injections to reduce the size of the birthmark.
She said: “I don’t think it will ever stop. But after all the operations and the support from everyone I decided it’s time to give something back to Changing Faces charity to help other people with disfigurements.”
To sponsor Jessica, visit justgiving.com/jess-whitfield.