On Saturday 25th August, Team Findacure completed the 2018 Dare for Rare skydive and raised over £1,500 for the rare disease community – huge thank you to our team and everyone who donated! In this week’s blog we hear from Saul Woodford, one of our brilliantly brave fundraisers, about his experience on the big day.

The day of the jump is upon me. Up to this point I haven’t felt any nerves, as it hasn’t felt real but now the imminent jump is filling my stomach with excitement and apprehension; 15,000 feet worth of excitement and apprehension to be exact.

We set off bright and early at 6am and the car journey to the skydive centre is a silent but exciting one. I am suddenly very aware of the sky; its vastness and blueness, and I’m filled with awe at the thought that soon I will be falling within it, through it. The weather is perfect for jumping, with clear skies, sunshine and hardly any cloud cover. I think of how much of the world I will be able to see when I’m up there, which helps the excitement overcome the nerves.

When we arrive at the centre we are greeted with the realness of the situation. The purple plane sits there, waiting for our arrival, ready to welcome its guests and host our journey. My brother Joel and I are delighted to meet Joanna, another skydiving novice jumping for Findacure. Despite having just travelled 15 hours from Scotland, she is in wonderfully high spirits and expelling warmth, which is lucky as the morning winds are much chillier than expected. Before long we fill out the required forms, complete our training, and are ready to jump. Once suited up, the wait begins – by far the hardest part of the day! But soon enough we are chaperoned onto the plane and buckled in for an experience of a lifetime! We are packed in like sardines but the plane journey is surprisingly quick and smooth.

The shutter door opens, a chill fills the plane, and the time has come. Joanna is out first, Joel is out second and then my time comes. I perch myself on the edge of the plane, catching a glimpse of the world below.  I tilt my head back and waist out, then we drop. Shock and fear fills me as I forget I’m even strapped to someone, then the adrenaline kicks in and my body goes into overdrive. I find it hard to put the exhilaration and amazement that I felt into words that can possibly do it justice. The parachute pulls after 35 seconds of freefall, the jolt brings me back into the world and the ride back down to earth is exquisitely beautiful. I see a circular rainbow of light on a cloud and just like a target with my silhouette as the bullseye, we break through it.

I have to thank Findacure and Katie, the Fundraising Manager, for making this experience possible, organising the whole event and helping with my fundraising. They made a thrilling dream of mine a reality and to do it all while fundraising for a great cause made it all the more worthwhile and meaningful.

Check out the video recording of Saul’s skydive here:
If you would like to show your support to our team of skydivers, please visit their fundraising page. Every pound raised will help us to transform the lives of rare disease patients and their families.