A pair of identical twins will mark their 82nd birthday together in high spirits on Sunday – with a 12,000ft skydive.
It will be the first time either Ralph or Frank Land has strapped on a parachute, and both say they are feeling excited and apprehensive about making the midday leap over Lewknor in Oxfordshire.
Ralph, who lives in a block of flats overlooking the Fulham FC ground in Stevenage Road, came up with the fundraising idea after losing his wife of 55 years, Jacqueline, to pancreatic cancer on his birthday one year ago.
Together, the brothers are expecting to have doubled their 5,000 target by the time of Sunday's jump. All cash raised will go to Cancer Research and to Hammersmith Hospital, where Jacqueline received treatment over 13 months of illness.
Ralph said: "I thought that this is the kind of age I want to do something special, and skydiving suddenly struck me as a good idea. When I told my brother he agreed, but his wife thought we should both be sectioned.
"My wife was treated by brilliant people at Hammersmith Hospital, but they couldn't do anything. However much research goes into it, it will always be underfunded, and pancreatic cancer is a battle because it is not picked up until very late."
The Land twins will perform tandem jumps strapped to instructors, and will be greeted on landing with a celebratory glass of champagne.
Frank now lives in Devon, but the pair are in constant contact and have both retained the accents which they brought to the UK in 1939, when they were forced to flee Nazi Germany.
Both men were pioneers in the early computer industry, with Frank becoming a professor of information systems at the London School of Economics, and Ralph earning a CBE for his efforts providing IT to Eastern Europe, including Russia during the Cold War.
Such eventful lives may have helped them to shrug off any fears about their skydiving challenge, for which neither has done much in the way preparation.
Ralph said: "I don't keep terribly active but I do keep busy. I don't know how much training you can do for a 20 minute skydive it can't be that difficult, you just get strapped to the guy and fall."
To sponsor the twins click here .