The sky’s the limit…


Brave fundraiser skydives for St Rocco’s


On 22 June 2024, Steve Connolly took part in an epic challenge to raise money for St Rocco’s.  He completed a skydive, jumping out of a plane from 14,000ft in the air at Grange-over-sands in the Lake District.  Steve was watched and supported from below by his partner, Mark, along with family, friends and his dog, Barney.

Steve is terminally ill after being diagnosed with throat cancer.  After a rollercoaster journey, Steve was told treatment had worked.  Unfortunately, he was later given the devastating news that the cancer had spread to his lungs.  Steve is still receiving treatment and has recently completed 6 rounds of chemotherapy but is now taking a break to give his body a rest.  He was told he would have 12 months to live 18 months ago, and his fighting spirit and love of life is clear to see by everyone around him.

‘I have a bucket list of things I want to do!  So far, I have visited the Northern Lights which was mind blowing, I have been whale watching and I have visited friends in Lanzarote.  I am a Liverpool fan and even managed to meet Jurgen Klopp at the airport!’

Steve is an outpatient and visits St Rocco’s once a month to see Dr Bokhari.  Our doctors aren’t funded through the NHS; this important care is delivered by St Rocco’s and funded by donations, legacies and fundraising.  Without your help, we could not support people like Steve. 

‘I always enjoy my visits to St Rocco’s.  It’s a lovely place.  I am looked after really well, and the staff always ask me if there’s anything I need.  The wonderful care I have received so far is the reason I have decided to take on this challenge and raise money for the charity.’

When asked how he felt about taking on the skydive, Steve said he wasn’t nervous at all.  He has previously completed 4 skydives, all for charity.

‘The build-up is enjoyable, and I find the whole process amazing.  When you jump from the plane you can hear a pin drop!  It takes around 15 minutes to prepare and fly up to the height and then around 7 minutes falling through the air and about 1 minute of this is falling without opening the parachute!’

Steve’s brother-in-law, Les, took part in the skydive with him for support and was very nervous about it and had been jumping off the shed to practice!  Steve said he was really appreciative of him joining in with the challenge and said one of the highlights was looking forward to seeing how much his brother-in-law enjoyed it after the initial nerves.

So far, Steve has raised £4,647 for the skydive and which includes a match funded grant from Morrisons Foundation of £1,000!  Through social media promotion of his skydive, he has received donations from all over the world including extended family in America and Australia!  Because of his incredible fundraising efforts, the skydive company isn’t charging Steve to take part either, so all money raised is being donated to St Rocco’s.

‘I am still working in two jobs at the moment, one full time for an online packaging company and then 2 shifts per week at Morrisons.  I was a manager at Morrisons for many years, working in Boundary Road St Helens, Warrington and now at Widnes.  Each store is getting behind me, putting up sponsorship forms in staff areas and collection buckets at customer service areas.   The team have been so supportive with my diagnosis and helping me work around my appointments etc. I want to keep on working because it’s a good distraction and keeps me busy.’

Steve presented the cheque to St Rocco’s with some of his colleagues at Morrisons, who have been very supportive of Steve and his fundraising efforts.

‘I am so grateful for all the encouragement I have received.  I had the most amazing day on Saturday, we both loved it. Les wanted to go straight back up so he could do it again!’

Thank you, Steve for being an inspiration and star community fundraiser, and on behalf of everyone at St Rocco’s, we are glad you had a thrilling time in the sky!