Nurses join in charity abseil

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NURSES who helped care for the mother of Carnoustie fund-raiser Petra McMillan have backed her campaign to support other terminally ill people in Angus by pledging to abseil 130 feet down one of the Dundee’s tallest buildings this spring.

On Monday five of the six nurses from Marie Curie Cancer Care who have taken up the challenge joined Petra at the top of the Tower Building of the University of Dundee in an effort to encourage others to join them in the daredevil stunt on May 21.

Petra hopes 60 others will join her and the Marie Curie ‘flying angels’ to help raise £10,000 for the charity, providing 500 hours of free nursing care to the terminally ill at home in the Angus and Dundee area.

The 37-year-old is full of admiration for the bravery of the nurses, not for signing up for the abseil, but for the work they do on a daily basis.

She said: “I very much appreciate the girls supporting my fund-raising drive but in reality the work they do, day in, day out, is much more challenging than the abseil.

“Marie Curie threw our family a lifeline and I am determined to help extend that invaluable service to as many other families in our local area as possible.”

Petra began her fund-raising following the death of her mother Mrs Renate Rennie, formerly of Carnoustie, in June 2009.

The 69-year-old mother of five and grandmother of 11 was diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumour three months prior to her death and opted to die at home.

Her family provided round-the-clock care, supported greatly by Marie Curie nurses in the final weeks.

Last year Petra, her family and friends realised more than £6,500 for the charity with a variety of events and the total money raised provided more than 320 hours of free nursing care for families in the local area.

At present, despite the scale of the challenge, Petra admits she is barely focused on the abseil event and, in fact, is very much looking forward to it.

She explained: “I’m currently in training for the Virgin London Marathon on April 17 and it is really, really tough.

“I did the same abseil last year and it was over in a flash - the same can’t be said for London.

“I’ll be on my feet for hours but I’ll be focusing on the charity and on my mum and that will get me through it.”

The abseil challenge is open to anyone over the age of 16, entrants are required to submit a refundable deposit of £25 and then commit to raise a minimum of £100 for the charity.

Anyone interested in joining the Marie Curie team can contact Petra directly on 07717 810365 or via Marie Curie in Edinburgh on 0131 561 3948 or visit