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My skydiving mom gave me a new perspective on terminal illness

Depressed?  Take one skydiving granny and call me in the morning.

My mother was diagnosed with lung cancer.  Her response "I want to go skydiving" a personal story about dealing with chronic and terminal illness.


The Philadelphia Enquirer picked up the story and did a nice article in their health section.



my 91-year-old mother asked me and my sister to go with her to see an oncologist.  She had been coughing a little and a scan showed a suspicious mass in her lung which had been biopsied. 

The doctor was calm and supportive as he explained stage 4 non-small cell carcinoma.  Sadly no, not operable. How long would she have? Hard to say. Probably not too long.  Chemo is really hard on older people, he told us.  Think about the quality of life.

The experience was a heavy weight as we drove home.  Finally, my sister asked our mother what was on her bucket list. 

The answer came without hesitation.

“I want to go skydiving,” she declared.

We were dumbfounded.  As far as we knew, she'd never wanted to do anything like that. Why now?

Life was for living, she told us,  and there was nothing to be gained by moping around.

Besides, she had always wanted to know what it was like to fly like a bird.