An SNA in Bunscoil Mhuire, Youghal is taking on what some would do for thrill seeking but most, including herself, would call outright scary. It's not for the thrill, the adrenaline or a carpe diem moment, it's for the purest, kindest, most selfless love. Norma Ledingham is doing a Skydive on 26 April in Kilkenny for Down Syndrome Cork, the services of which her special charge at the school, Shayne Landers and his family, will avail.
Norma was paired up as an SNA to Shayne when he went into 1st class and has remained steadfastly at his side through the last five years. He's now in 5th class and with just one year to complete in the local Primary School, Norma wanted to do something as special for him. “He is just the most loving, caring person I know,” said Norma, “He comes into school every day and just radiates affection and playfulness. He gives everything his all once he starts it, though it's fair to say, he'll avoid work if he can! He's in the school's Samba Drum Band and School Choir, both of which he absolutely loves. He's such a character and he's the reason I love going to work in the morning. I love him as if he was my own.” Norma admits she's trying to put out of her mind the day she comes to school and he's not there. She will have some company on the day of the Skydive, “My husband’s niece, Sarah Ledingham and her boyfriend Darren Hannigan are doing it with me. They’ll be fundraising for the Irish Heart Foundation.”
Ahead of her leap of love, Norma is taking a week's holiday on the El Camino trail in Spain, no doubt to gather her courage and savour the peaceful feel of terra firma. Have a fantastic time on holiday Norma, and all the best with your amazing Skydive challenge on 26 April, from all at the East Cork Journal, Bunscoil Mhuire and Youghal community.
To donate to the cause, go to www.idonate.ie website and search for Norma’s Skydive for Down Syndrome Cork. Alternatively, there are sponsorship cards in Cree’s Card shop should you wish to donate.