A TERMINALLY-ill cancer patient from Yorkshire took the plunge this weekend to fulfil a bucket list ambition of jumping out of a plane for a 12,000ft freefall skydive.
Jason Wannan, 43, of Leeds, said the experience allowed him to temporarily forget his devastating diagnosis of tongue cancer, which has left him with just months to live. He said: “It was fantastic. As soon as you step out of the plane, all your troubles disappear, it’s great. I can’t explain it. It was ten times scarier when they opened the doors than I thought it would be. It was as scary as hell but they did a great job. They talk you all through it on the way up.
“Then all you feel is calm.”
The jump was organised by Leeds’ St Gemma’s Hospice, which has been supporting Jason over the past few weeks, and came almost exactly a year after a biopsy first confirmed cancer.
Jason had sought help from his GP and a dental school after noticing a hole appear under his tongue. He immediately underwent chemotherapy and radiography but tests sadly showed the cancer was still there. In November, doctors told him the only option left would be radical surgery to remove his tongue, teeth and part of his jaw.
After a heartwrenching discussion with his partner of nine years, Tracey Baker, 44, Jason decided to turn down the treatment. He said: “I would never have been able to swallow or eat again. Or talk. It was neverending. That’s not the quality of life I’m willing to have.”
He added: “But I have a great girlfriend, family and friends. Everyone has my back.”
Tracey said: “At the moment he’s doing everything that he can. We’re just taking each day as it comes. He’s not miserable, he’s fighting. He’s laughing and joking. I couldn’t be proud of anyone more.”
Jason’s skydive was in aid of St Gemma’s Hospice. Visit http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/JasonWannanSkydive.