A British woman is celebrating her 90th birthday in spectacular style by taking on a string of adrenaline-fuelled charity challenges.
Betty Bromage is gearing up to not only complete a dizzying wing-walk hundreds of metres above the Gloucestershire countryside, but a high-octane zip line ride, and a thrilling abseil.
The former nurse and mother of two sons is no stranger to danger, having already undertaken three potentially perilous sponsored wing-walks in recent years.
The British grandmother hopes her fearless exploits will help raise £10 000 (R185 000) to build a new summerhouse and wheelchair-friendly community garden at the Abbeyfield Gloucestershire home in Cheltenham where she lives.
Betty kick-started her adventures on 9 April performing a series of amazing aerobatic manoeuvres while strapped to the wing of a biplane as it soared to 366 metres.
The 90-year-old then headed to Europe’s longest and the world’s fastest zip line at Penrhyn Slate Quarry in Bethesda, north Wales.
Finally the intrepid pensioner, who’s making it her mission to defy the stereotypes of ageing, plans to complete an abseil at an as yet undisclosed location in Manchester.
“My motto is ‘wear out, don’t rust out’. I believe life is for living. People my age are very good at saying they can’t do things. But for me age is just a number, and you shouldn’t just sit back and feel sorry for yourself,” Betty said.
“Lots of people have suggested I should be taking life easier, but that’s rubbish. I hate people telling me I can’t do something.
“My reaction is always to say, ‘yes I can,’ and then I’ll go off and show them. Sometimes I will succeed and other times I won’t. But you don’t know how it’s going to turn out until you try, do you?”
What makes Betty’s story truly remarkable is that 20 years ago, she was wheelchair- bound after suffering a back injury.
She still uses a walker to get around after undergoing major surgery on her spine but refuses to let that stop her from enjoying life to the full.
Betty was 87 when she became Britain’s oldest female wing-walker. It was a record she held until last year when she was beaten by a 91-year-old.
Top of her list is wresting back her wing-walking record.
“I did write to the lady to say well done, but you’ve stolen my thunder! I’ll have to wait until I’m 92 to beat her, but it’s a good reason to keep going,” she said.
“If anyone had said to me when I was 80 that I’d be doing things like wing-walking, I would have said they were talking out of the back of their head. But if I’ve got to go, I might as well do it in a blaze of glory.”
The 90-year-old says too many people see retirement as the end but according to her, it’s simply a doorway leading to new openings.
“People my age should be doing more adventurous things.”
Source: Magazine Features