A WOMAN approaching her 70th birthday has raised over £800 for a charity close to her after taking on two extraordinary fundraising challenges.

Linda Hilson, who lives in Old Basing, was previously featured in The Gazette when she spoke of her plans to take on a wing walk and The Great North Run in aid of Cancer Research.

Since then she has successfully completed both challenges and has raised a massive £800 for the charity which she chose to support in memory of her mum and aunt who both died of cancer, only weeks apart.

Linda said: “I just want to say a big thank you to everyone who supported me with the Great North Run and the wing walk.

“The Great North Run was a great day and I finished in a time of 3 hours and 2 minutes, beating my personal best by 20 minutes.

“The wing walk was just amazing, I was very nervous to start with, and when I was strapped on and the engine started and taxied to the end of the runway, I was quite scared.

“Once I was up in the air it was so very exciting and I would love to do it again.”

The Great North Run, which featured both elite runners such as Sir Mo Farah and runners for charity, took place on Sunday, 10 September.

The wing walk took place at Chiltern Air Park, in Wallingford on October 1.

Linda, who will be celebrating her 70th birthday in February next year, said she always wanted to do a wing walk and the experience was a birthday gift from her husband.

Linda is currently in remission from a malignant melanoma cancer, which gives her another important reason to raise money for Cancer Research, as she realises first-hand the good that the charity does for people battling cancer.

Linda added: “I have had support from New Zealand and my son and the company he works for in Manchester.

“I’ve also had so much support from many friends and relatives in good old Basingstoke and people who don’t even know me.

“I really just want to say a big thank you to all my family, friends and everyone else who has supported me with your kindness and generosity.”

Donations are still being taken via Linda’s JustGiving page, with money raised going to Cancer Research.

Go to justgiving.com/fundraising/linda-hilson.