Dragged into my MS diagnosis, but now jumping for a cure: Part 4

Jump day arrives — along with the smiles

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by Mike Parker |

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Multiple Sclerosis News Today has been chronicling MS advocate and podcaster Mike Parker’s journey leading up to a skydiving jump he made on Oct. 29 to benefit the MS Society U.K. Learn more about Mike at mikesmsjourney.com. You can also donate to his fundraiser

Last in a series. Read parts one, two, and three.

In the final few days before the jump, I spent a lot of time relaxing, in an attempt to temper my excitement — which wasn’t easy. This whole thing had really gripped me. I’ve been driven forward not only by the thought of raising money for something that means so much, but also by the thought of being able to do something that MS couldn’t stop.

I’d been making an effort to make sure my body would cope with it all, by upping my leg work at the gym more than anything — after all, I’d need to be able to lift my legs upon landing.

I even customized my shirt with a couple slogans that felt meaningful. (Believe me when I say art isn’t my strong point.)

On the night before the jump, it was quite hard to settle down. The excitement really spiked when I looked at the donations before bed and saw that we’d hit my target.

The big day

The day finally arrived. After getting ready, I headed off with family to Skydive Langar in Nottingham, England, for the main event.

When we arrived, I booked myself in. I was given a briefing that included a safety talk and instructions for how to position myself during the jump. Then I had a good chat with some of the other jumpers. I was told I’d be in the second plane, which meant I’d have time to watch, take some pictures, and soak up the day’s emotions.

Time to get ready

It was time. My name was announced on the loudspeaker and I was ordered to the prep area. My instructors introduced themselves, handed me a flight suit, and we got ready. I’d ordered a video package to accompany and document the jump; there was no way I’d let that chance pass me by. The videographer introduced himself and even gave me a quick interview.

Next, we made our way to the plane. I couldn’t stop smiling! My every thought at that point was about how incredible it felt.

The jump!

Once we were on the flight, we made our way to 10,000 feet. The smile on my face was from ear to ear when the green light lit up.

I shuffled to the edge of the plane and could see the ground below. My excitement turned to complete elation.

As soon as we left the plane, the roar of the wind struck me. I felt a sense of total freedom! Free-falling for about 30 seconds was the most unbelievable feeling. I was smiling even with my face flapping around.

Two tandem skydivers dressed in blue skydiving suits with yellow stripes are in mid-jump in the sky. The instructor wears a pink helmet and flashes two thumbs up; the tandem diver has his arm extended above his head, no helmet, and wears a broad smile.

Mike Parker has the time of his life during his first skydiving outing. (Courtesy of Skydive Langar)

The parachute opened suddenly and the roar of noise became pure silence. A total calmness consumed my adrenaline. I gazed down at the ground and around at the sky. It was a feeling like no other. MS had no power up there.

While coming down, my instructor gave me a little chance to control the parachute (with his help, of course). That was awesome. Then it was landing time. My instructor asked me to grab the tabs on the legs of my flight suit and pull my legs up. The touchdown was so gentle. I guess I’d expected it to be a bit of a bump, but it wasn’t.

The following video of my jump was taken by Pete Harries of the Skydive Langar Camera Team.

Sign off

The skydiving company was fantastic, and both my instructor and cameraman deserve a massive thank-you. It was also great to see family who came to support me when it was over.

This whole experience has been unbelievable, from sharing my story to raising money, all the way to the jump itself. I will never forget it.

I’d also like to give a massive thank-you to MS News Today for allowing me to share this with you all, and to everyone who has supported me during this project. You are all appreciated very much.

Two skydivers - one an instructor and one a tandem diver - sit on the ground in a vast, green field, both giving the thumbs up sign. A deployed parachute is spread out on the ground behind them. They are both smiling, having completed a successful jump from a plane.

A victorious post-landing. (Courtesy of Skydive Langar)

Note: Multiple Sclerosis News Today is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of Multiple Sclerosis News Today or its parent company, BioNews, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to multiple sclerosis.


Ginny avatar


Incredible, is right! Fantastic, you did it with flying colours! I actually choked back tears while watching your video. As you said "MS had no power up there"


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