She’s walked with wolves and spent a week dog-sledding in a quest to test her limits and achieve new challenges – and now, hospice nurse Bernadette Baxter is taking on the ultimate adrenaline feat!
Bernadette, who has been with St Catherine’s since it first opened in 1985, will take a leap of faith for the charity’s annual sponsored skydive this month. It comes after she donated a kidney on turning 60 and became determined to experience new adventures.
She said: “Up until I turned 60 I was remarkably sane – I don’t know what happened! I suppose life began at 60 and I just wanted to start trying new things and having new experiences.
“I did a ‘Predator Experience’ in the Lakes which involved walking with wolves, and then I went to Finland for a dog-sledding holiday, which was fantastic!
“That’s how I ended up signing up for the skydive actually – I initially registered for the abseil last year, but it was rescheduled for March and it overlapped with my time in Finland. I’d already got some sponsorship so one of the hospice fundraisers suggested I go for the skydive instead!
“I’ve never done anything like this before. I’m told it’s an amazing feeling, but to be honest, I’m trying not to think about it too much!”
She added: “I’ve done quite a bit of fundraising for St Catherine’s over the years – every day I see the good work which is done here and what a significant difference the charity makes to people lives, so it’s good to be able to give back and help the fundraising effort.”
Bernadette, who works in the hospice’s inpatient unit, is also hoping to take on the Go Ape treetop obstacle course in Grizedale in the near future, as well as the famous Camino de Santiago pilgrimage walk across Spain; a gruelling 500-mile trek which usually takes around a month to complete.
St Catherine’s fundraiser Emma Jacovelli said: “Bernadette is so well known to staff, volunteers and families of St Catherine’s, and it’s just incredible that she’s keen to get involved with fundraising on top of her commitment to providing vital, compassionate care to our patients.
“She’s certainly living life to the full and has surprised us all with her new-found adrenaline-junkie spirit! She’s a credit to St Catherine’s and a real inspiration to us all.”
To sponsor Bernadette’s skydive and support the important work of St Catherine’s, please click here.