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  • IUDM

Skydiving for the Bravest Kids in the World

Updated: Nov 7, 2019

This past Friday, senior Anna Barnett from the Public Relations committee decided to take the plunge and go skydiving FTK. This is an opportunity that only comes twice a year, as members of the IU Dance Marathon are given the chance to jump at a discounted rate with Skydive Indianapolis with part of the proceeds going towards the kids at Riley Hospital for Children. We decided to ask Anna a bit about her experience:

What inspired you to want to skydive FTK?

I had always thought “Why on earth would someone want to jump from a perfectly good airplane?” It wasn’t until last spring that I learned more about skydiving FTK and about the impact that it can have on a child going through scary treatments. It was then that I had a gut feeling that I was being called to do it.

Had you ever considered skydiving before?

NO! My hands shook so anxiously when I signed up that I added about seven extra t’s on the end of my last name on the form. That nervous energy eventually transitioned into a pure adrenaline rush when it was time to board the tiny toy airplane.

What was your favorite part of the experience?

I was relieved once the parachute was pulled and the free fall had ended, so I could look down and see that the teddy bear was still attached to my chest. Then immediately following the landing, I wrote a note to the child at Riley Hospital who would be receiving the bear explaining that he kept me brave, and I would do the same for them.

What was your last thought before jumping out of the plane?

I watched the jumpers in front of me disappear one by one out of the open door on the plane. My tandem buddy Alex asked one last time if I was still okay with jumping, and after I said yes we approached the door. We sat for a brief moment and I had a moment to look out at the horizon. You could see it curve. THAT was amazing. Then I remembered that I was about to jump from 14,000 feet. All I could really think was, “This bear better live up to his title of ‘Bravest Bear in the World.’ Of course, in the end... he did.

How excited are you for IUDM 2019?

The amount of hype building up to IUDM 2019 is unlike anything I have ever experienced. Day of Hope was absolutely incredible. We pushed ourselves and each other to break records and goals we never imagined were within our reach. If we capitalize on that energy throughout the next few weeks, November 17th is going to be a day to remember.

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