Jumping for Hope

Posted at: 06/23/2013 10:50 PM
Updated at: 06/23/2013 11:49 PM
By: Brittany Lewis

(ABC 6 News) -- 500 sky dives by the age of 50. Can you imagine? Well that is the goal of one Southeast Minnesota woman. And Sunday, she brought around 100 people with her on the adventure as a way to raise money for cancer.     

Alana Wilson’s personality is as big as her adventurous spirit. At age 45, she is just four years younger than her dad was when he died of cancer.

"He actually had so much cancer that they couldn't determine what it all was. He was diagnosed and two weeks later, he passed away,” said Wilson.

It was that loss that led in her in a new direction—up.

“When I’m in the sky I’m not thinking of anything. You know, my troubles are on the ground and it's just a really liberating experience,” said Wilson.

And wanting to help those on the ground, diagnosed with cancer, battling cancer, surviving cancer, she started Jumps for Hope, a non-profit that partners with Westside Skydivers, holding skydiving events with portions of the money going to cancer research. Sunday, at the Rushford Municipal Airport, around 100 people helped fund cancer research, while at the same time crossing skydiving off their bucket lists.

“My own personality got me out the plane... The cancer pushed me out,” said cancer survivor Gary Kastello.

"There's not much fear once you have that diagnosis. You feel really fortunate and say to yourself why fear anything?” he added.

"Take every day and make the most of it and I don’t want to waste a day that I'm not doing everything I can with that day to enjoy life,” said Wilson.

This was the first time the event was held in Southeast Minnesota. Wilson hopes to make it an annual one.