How I jumped out of an airplane to raise funds for ME/CFS research

The JUMP for ME/CFS team

The JUMP for ME/CFS team

The first time it occurred to me that this might have been a bad idea was when my my skydiving-tandem-jumper told me that today was his first day at work, and that he suffered from narcolepsy. Of course I thought he was joking, so I asked him to be serious. He agreed to stop pulling my leg and asked me in a calm voice to have compassion: “Everybody has a first day. Plus, I usually wake up when I jump out of the airplane.”

There the airplane goes

There the airplane goes

How had I gotten into this mess?

Just before May 12, the ME/CFS Awareness Day, I had read on Health Rising about Bob Miller’s skydive in order to raise funds for Simmaron research and awareness for ME/CFS. “I can’t run a marathon or walk 5 miles to raise funds, but I can fall!” I thought it was a great idea, and since the event took place only 50 minutes from Davis, I decided to support him.

I was greeted by a great group of people. I’d always felt like I had arrived at my life’s mission when, one year ago, I had decided to help people with ME/CFS live healthier and happier lives. Helping people just like me felt wonderful from the first day. It felt like the high point of this great first year to be at the same event as Courtney and Bob Miller, who I’ve admired for a long time for their advocacy efforts around ME/CFS, and with all of the inspiring, funny, and determined ME/CFS patients who’d driven a long way to support Bob, warmed my heart even more.

Jumpin' for ME/CFS

Jumpin’ for ME/CFS

To make a long story short, Janet, one of the volunteers and financial supporters of the Skydiving event, said she’d sponsor me if I’d JUMP for ME/CFS. I didn’t think twice and agreed to do it.

And even my instructor turned out to not be a risk to my life. Once we had entered the airplane, he told me he had learned skydiving in the army and proved that he was a great guy all around.

Watch the entire jump in this video:

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  1. !! That’s great Johannes. I’m so glad you did (and a little jealous).

    Congratulations on surviving your first jump!

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