Forums: Community: Skydivers with Disabilities:
Jumping With Cerebral Palsy....?

 


RALFFERS  (Student)

Mar 21, 2007, 5:39 PM
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Jumping With Cerebral Palsy....? Can't Post

Greetings All,

To make a long story short, I've been a thrill seeker for as long as I can remember (granted, I'm only 25 years-old). Whether it was driving at high speeds on an open road or bungee jumping, I love anything thats not the everyday typical and has a degree of risk; I think I'm addicted to adrenaline ;-) With that said, I may be crazy, but certainly not stupid; safety plays a major role in whatever I do. Anyway, recently I decided to do a tandem skydive on my 26th birthday, coming up in July. I already spoke with an instructor and after giving him a brief, but detailed description of my condition, he gave me the green light to jump; awesome! Now, I fell in love with bungee jumping, and I see no reason that wont be the case with skydiving. Logically speaking, if I I was given the go-ahead for tandem jumping I would think the same would be the case for solo jumping; but I will wait for your input on that. Just so you have an idea of how mildly disabled I am I'll give you a brief rundown. I am able to walk anywhere with the use of forearm crutches, have full feeling and movement in my legs and I drive a car with no special equipment at all. The only thing I can't fully do is straighten my legs fully at the knee when standing; they're about 97%-98% straight. THATS IT! Otherwise, I'm in good shape; I work out, swim, ride a bike (stationary) and obviously have no major medical conditions , such as kidney, liver or heart problems. Please advise

Best Regards,

Ralph


Premier wmw999  (D 6296)

Mar 21, 2007, 7:15 PM
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Re: [RALFFERS] Jumping With Cerebral Palsy....? [In reply to] Can't Post

Without looking at you, I can't imagine a problem. I'd say you want to be ready to fall down on landings, but you should anyway -- deliberately falling down is sometimes your best insurance against getting hurt.

I've known a jumpers with noticeable CP before.

Wendy W.


shermanator  (B License)

Mar 23, 2007, 9:15 PM
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Re: [wmw999] Jumping With Cerebral Palsy....? [In reply to] Can't Post

did they try to 'cure' you with botox? my girlfriend tells me horror stories of all the medical 'experimentations' when she was a young kid.. granted, she is only 19 now.

I think your best bet on getting the advise youare looking for would be to go down and actually talk to the instructors/ st&a. there have been plenty of people who jump with physical dissabilities. pieces of 8 is a great example. I've heard of parapalegic solo jumpers. If there is a will, there is a way. good luck bro!


shermanator  (B License)

Mar 23, 2007, 9:18 PM
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Re: [shermanator] Jumping With Cerebral Palsy....? [In reply to] Can't Post

wow, looks like THESE would be some great people to get advise from.


RALFFERS  (Student)

Mar 23, 2007, 9:38 PM
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Re: [shermanator] Jumping With Cerebral Palsy....? [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
good luck bro!

Thanks man. As for the botox...isn't that like a face lift thing? I got a pretty face Tongue (as I'm sure your girlfriend does as well). Hmm, botox and CP......now I gotta go look that up. Smile

In terms of jumping, I'm sure you are right; where there's a will there's a way. I thank you for your encouragement, and that of everyone else. I've said this before and I'll say it again (without having jumped yet) that's the one thing I love about this sport; everyone looks out for everyone else; it's a real homey feeling-family like. I really can't wait to first, just start jumping (a tandem or two) and than start working towards an A License. If all goes well, I'll do my first tandems in July, maybe sooner (depends on cash flow). Thank God I'm about to work in the insurance industry, which pays well...I could support my habbit........YAY! Cool

Ciao,

Ralph


karenmeal  (D 24737)

Mar 24, 2007, 3:47 PM
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Re: [RALFFERS] Jumping With Cerebral Palsy....? [In reply to] Can't Post

Quote:
I've said this before and I'll say it again (without having jumped yet) that's the one thing I love about this sport; everyone looks out for everyone else; it's a real homey feeling-family like.

That is the best part about the sport! Skydiving is all kinds of good fun and all.. but the whole culture surrounding the sport is more of what hooked me.


pmw515  (Student)

Mar 26, 2007, 7:20 PM
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Re: [RALFFERS] Jumping With Cerebral Palsy....? [In reply to] Can't Post

hi,

I have cp, 26 years old. If you can, Try to get to a wind tunnel. That helps. Do you have any problems throwing your pelvis out? Do you have ok control over your legs when you are lying on your stomach? I, personally, stick my legs out and lock them there, and i fly w/ my upper body. Everone's different. And thats fine. Everyone flies their body differently. But like I said, a wind tunnel may help, if you can make it to one, but talk to the instructors at your local dz. I know mine are helpful.
I wish you luck.
patrick


Clawpaws

Jul 11, 2007, 1:48 PM
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Re: [RALFFERS] Jumping With Cerebral Palsy....? [In reply to] Can't Post

Smile
It's great to see posts like this; not just on the DZ, but everywhere on the Web.

My middle son; who is 8yrs old has CP and he does everything. I bring all my kids to the DZ and I am sure when the right age comes along for them that they will jump.

Where there is a will there is a way and my 8yr old will find it, and CP or not we will get him to jump one way or another. I have seen all sorts of different ways that are possible for him to do a solo jump, and by the time he turns the right age there will be even bigger and better things out there.

My son has played every sport possible and is currently looking into wheelchair boxing and a couple other sports he is interested in.

If you have jumped already then I would say I am sure it was a great thrill, and all the best in your future skydives. I show my son all the stories that involve any disability, as there arent a lot out there and he finds it something to look up to and there is nothing he can not accomplish.

***as per BOTOX; thanks to it being under cosmetics, as a lot of females use it for their faces...this in Canada, Ontario costs over $600.00 a needle and yes my son has used this in order for us to be able to exercise his legs, and most of the time the BOTOX runs out after 4 weeks. ($600.00 only covered under good insurance)

***Blue Skies All***

Check this link out.http://iml.jou.ufl.edu/projects/students/lane/Po8.htm


pirana  (D 30661)

Jul 12, 2007, 10:43 AM
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Re: [RALFFERS] Jumping With Cerebral Palsy....? [In reply to] Can't Post

What timing! My little brother has CP, had made a tandem last summer, and very badly wants to jump more. We are going to take him up tandem again and build a small formation on him because he wants so badly to be a part of one.

Taking up the sport though seems to me to be out of the question for him. I suppose it depends on how severe the case. He has an awful lot of muscle rigidity, and his fine motor skills restrict him from many activities. I'd like to hear how it goes for you.

As a humorous aside - he has to use an electric shaver because of the fine motor skills thing. He visitied once and forgot it, so he gave the blade a try. When he came out of the bathroom he had at least 2 dozen relatively minor cuts and scrapes, with tissue plastered everywhere. We had a great laugh on that one.


RALFFERS  (Student)

Jul 12, 2007, 3:27 PM
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Re: [pirana] Jumping With Cerebral Palsy....? [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
What timing! My little brother has CP, had made a tandem last summer, and very badly wants to jump more. We are going to take him up tandem again and build a small formation on him because he wants so badly to be a part of one.

Taking up the sport though seems to me to be out of the question for him. I suppose it depends on how severe the case. He has an awful lot of muscle rigidity, and his fine motor skills restrict him from many activities. I'd like to hear how it goes for you.

As a humorous aside - he has to use an electric shaver because of the fine motor skills thing. He visitied once and forgot it, so he gave the blade a try. When he came out of the bathroom he had at least 2 dozen relatively minor cuts and scrapes, with tissue plastered everywhere. We had a great laugh on that one.

I was one of the lucky ones, in that although I have CP it's not a severe case at all. My upper body is fine; my legs are in relatively good condition as well. My hamstrings are bit tight, but not bad; I think I'll be ok. Everybody at the dropzone has very supportive; everyone says that if I put enough effort into it, I can at least get an A license. My only hangup thus far is that I imagine it being a little uncomfortable having to reach for the pilot chute at the lower back; so I plan on having my rig customized a little bit so that I'll have a spring-loaded pilot chute, and will be able to pull at the shoulder. Damn it, if I can swim an Olympic-sized pool and drive a car without any special adaptations I think I can skydive. To be honest, I'm a little nervous about not anticipating something that can potentially cause a problem, but hopefully all that will be worked out in the tunnel.......I'm going sometime in the next few months


pirana  (D 30661)

Jul 13, 2007, 5:24 AM
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Re: [RALFFERS] Jumping With Cerebral Palsy....? [In reply to] Can't Post

That is sweet man, very good on you. You appear about as relaxed in the door as any tandem can be.

I got the go ahead a couple days ago to build the formation on my brother's tandem. I'll have to try to post the video to a public site.

Chicagoland heh? Tell Nathan Dexter that Farmer Don from Baldwin says "Hey!"


RALFFERS  (Student)

Jul 13, 2007, 8:33 AM
Post #12 of 14 (1930 views)
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Re: [pirana] Jumping With Cerebral Palsy....? [In reply to] Can't Post

Quote:
Taking up the sport though seems to me to be out of the question for him. I suppose it depends on how severe the case. He has an awful lot of muscle rigidity, and his fine motor skills restrict him from many activities. I'd like to hear how it goes for you.
I hope you don't mind me asking, but just how bad is his muscle rigidity; what types of activities is he restricted from? I'm trying to build a mental image to compare the two of us. I also have some ideas of how to help him out with that; it did wonders for me. PM me if you're interested.

For me, all problems will be identified in the wind tunnel; I'm really anxious to get down to Orlando....all thats stopping me is about $1,500 Pirate I'm jumping again in about two weeks for my birthday, hopefully it'll go better in terms of arch and whatnot; I'll be lucky if I can get it filmed. Honestly, I can't figure it out-I can arch fine on the floor, but when we exited the plane, I simply forgot to do all that Crazy


I will make sure to tell Nathan you said "hey" next time I see him. Wow, small world Cool


chuck411  (D 26024)

Aug 25, 2007, 8:09 PM
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Re: [RALFFERS] Jumping With Cerebral Palsy....? [In reply to] Can't Post

I know im a bit late on this but just at the beginning of this month I met a Skydiver who Im pretty sure stated he had CP and has over 170+ Skydives... All of which are Tandems. He owns his own Harness which has been tacked just to fit him and well He Loves it and I was just completely inspired buy this cat. He seems to have limited use of Legs and walks with the aid of forarm crutches. Man he loves the sport and the big deal with him on the DZ was seeing which Tandem Instructor could land closest to his Crutches which he leaves on the DZ when they help him board the plane.


(This post was edited by chuck411 on Aug 25, 2007, 10:54 PM)


squarecanopy  (B 29646)

Sep 10, 2007, 5:40 PM
Post #14 of 14 (1772 views)
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Re: [RALFFERS] Jumping With Cerebral Palsy....? [In reply to] Can't Post

Hey Ralph,
I have had some involvement with CP. My nephew had CP and his limitations were severe, but his indomitable spirit was an inspiration to me. He struggled minute by minute all of his short life to try and get his body to respond to his mind, but he never gave up. I see the same spirit in your posts here, and all I can say is GO FOR IT!!!! I am quite sure that if you want to skydive, your legs will not stop you. We all face various challenges in this sport but in my opinion the only loser skydiver is the one who quits on himself. Skydiving has shown me true freedom of mind and body during freefall, and that is for me worth whatever it takes to be able to experience that again and again; learning the skills to get safely back on the ground is exciting as well.
Don't stop, don't give up, and one day soon you will be leading the group out of the plane....
Blue Skies, brother-keep us posted on how it is going! Cool



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