Dad's brave challenge of a lifetime

A brave dad from Burnley is set to embark on the challenge of a lifetime to raise essential funds and awareness for breast cancer charity.

Ian Roberts and Sonia Varnavas (s)
Ian Roberts and Sonia Varnavas (s)

Ian Roberts, (35), a full time carer, is due to complete a tandem skydive to support Breast Cancer Now, after his partner Sonia Varnavas, (35), also from Burnley, was diagnosed with breast cancer earlier this year.

Ian said: “I’ve already lost two people close to me to cancer, and I’ll be dammed if I lose my Sonia to the same.

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“Breast Cancer Now offer cancer care on such a personal level, and I wanted to do something special to raise awareness for the fantastic charity.”

Sonia, a junior sister at Royal Blackburn Hospital was given the shock diagnosis in June this year and is now over half way through her treatment.

The couple met only a few months before Sonia’s diagnosis, but fell head over heels for one another.

Ian added: “It’s not a pretty sight to see someone you love suffer on a daily basis; she’s a great girl, and I feel so blessed to have her in my life, she makes me smile every day.”

The tandem skydive takes place on Saturday, October 8th, at Lancaster Airfield. Ian will plummet from 10,000ft aided by Skyline Parachute Company. St Peter’s Sports Centre and JJs Diner, both based in Burnley, are sponsoring the skydive.

Breast Cancer Now is the UK’s largest breast cancer charity, committed to funding the very best in breast cancer research across prevention, diagnosis, treatments and secondary breast cancer.

Anybody wishing to support Ian and Sonia can do so by donating through