THE SKY is the limit for a mum hoping to make her 60th year memorable in more ways than one.
Anna Kingsley’s son Theo suffered from a range of complex learning disabilities and sadly died unexpectedly aged just six.
Since his death in 2008, Anna has fund-raised for a number of causes including the British Heart Foundation and the Welcombe Hills School where Theo was a pupil.
But having lost her son the day before her own birthday, she decided she did not want a big party to mark her milestone 60th.
Instead, with support from husband Reg and 16-year-old son Alexander, Anna drew up a list of 60 challenges to complete during her 60th year in memory of Theo.
Anna, who lives in Newbold-on-Stour, has already taken part in a sponsored zumbathon earlier this year and used the proceeds to create special garden boxes filled with plants and equipment, which she recently donated to Heart of England Mencap.
She had previously given musical equipment to those attending the charity’s day activity group, Pathway.
And Anna is now pledging to raise funds for the Clifford Chambers-based charity, which supports people with learning disabilities.
Subject to weather conditions, she was set to complete a skydive alongside her eldest son on Wednesday (August 24) in memory of both Theo and her brother John, who would have been 70 on the day.
As part of the 60 challenge, Anna will be taking on a host of other activities – from swimming a mile to walking 60 – and she is also aiming to visit her 60th National Trust property over the coming months.
But while she is having fun trying her hand at new skills including surfing, the memory of her son is never too far away.
She said: “Theo was a very special little boy and he enchanted everyone who met him. He had a tragically short life and his early and unexpected death affected everyone.
“Life was hard for Theo in that he had to work hard to achieve the physical milestones of sitting and walking but life was also beautiful in that music, food and love sustained him.
“Music and nature both brought Theo a lot of joy so it feels very fitting to have donated equipment to allow others to enjoy both.”
Anna admitted she had found it surprisingly difficult to compile the list but said the latest challenge would prove to be the most difficult yet.
She added: “The skydive is definitely going to be a huge challenge for me – I struggle with escalators!”
Visit www.justgiving.com/fundraising/R-G-MONK1 to sponsor Anna.