Pensioner goes whitewater rafting for 90th

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Gean Hodsdon is ready for her challenge

By Cara Sulieman

A GRANDMOTHER is going whitewater rafting for her 90th birthday – after her doctor banned her from doing a parachute jump.

Brave Gean Hodsdon wanted to do something for Blythswood Care, a charity that helps poor families in Eastern Europe, Asia and Africa.

Despite using two sticks and having two replacement knees, the pensioner was determined to do something interesting to celebrate as having a party would be “too tame”.

So she signed up to the challenge on March 5 after seeing a poster on a day out and hopes to raise £5,000 for a water pump for a children’s camp in Moldova.

“A bit tame”

Mrs Hodsdon, who lives in sheltered housing, said: “Originally I wanted to do a parachute jump, but my doctor wouldn’t let me as I’ve had two knees replaced.

“So I had to find something else.

“A friend takes me up to the Trossachs sometimes, and I happened to see a notice about whitewater rafting.

“I’m quite looking forward to it now – although I’m not looking forward to putting on a wetsuit.

“I don’t feel like I’m 90 although my body does. I thought just having a birthday party would be a bit tame.”

She’ll be joined by three friends as they speed down seven miles of the River Tay.

“Pretty basic”

A fully qualified team at Dunolly Adventures will be keeping a careful eye on the oldest participant they’ve ever had.

Mrs Hodsdon first got involved with Blythwood Care 20 years ago after she moved to Linlithgow.

First sending shoeboxes filled with Christmas gifts to children in Eastern Europe, she had since been out to Romania and Moldova several times.

She said: “There’s still a lot of poverty over there. I’ve been going there for years, but I have a bad back and can’t do that anymore.

“I’ve been to the camp and it’s pretty basic. They need a pump for water, as they have to rely on a tanker which comes twice a week now.”

She had already raised £220 towards her target.

To support her visit http://www.justgiving.com/Gean-Hodsdon

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