Jumping For A Cure | Cure Arthritis Skydive

Jumping For A Cure | Cure Arthritis Skydive

Derek Belisle, Marketing Director for the Arthritis National Research Foundation, took raising arthritis awareness to new heights when he decided to jump out of an airplane recently! Clad in his Cure Arthritis t-shirt, he took a leap of faith to show that there’s no way too extreme to spread the message of finding a cure for arthritis. Check out his exciting adventure:

May was Arthritis Awareness Month and every year I like to do something special and maybe a little different to raise arthritis awareness. Two years ago I jumped out of an airplane, last year I spray painted my hair blue, and this year I figured it was time for round two with mother nature. Two years ago I jumped for a of couple reasons; to celebrate my 25th and my mother’s 55th birthday, but also to use the opportunity to wear my Go Blue For Arthritis t-shirt and raise awareness. (pictured below)

GoBlueSkydive

This year (round two) I was presented with another opportunity; my brother Sean was turning 30. He had been talking about skydiving and wing-suits for some time, but he had never made the plunge. I figured it was about time we changed that and when better than his 30th birthday?

So to keep with my theme of aerial acrobatics mixed with arthritis awareness I figured how great would it be to rock my Cure Arthritis t-shirt. Hopefully I would close out Arthritis Awareness Month with a smooth landing and not a splat. I would hate to wreck my awesome shirt!

Derek0Sean

So up we went, crammed into a tiny Cessna, making our way up to 10,000 feet high above the farm fields, hills, and ocean in Camarillo, CA with our instructors, Henry and Dan there to “insure our safety.” Lucky for me I had jumped with Dan two years earlier so I figured he had to be pretty good to still be jumping!

As we were set to go Dan decided we’d make it a bit more interesting the second time around. Normally you roll out of the plane, level off and enjoy the fall. That wasn’t enough for me and Dan, we’d done this before! So three back flips and a half a dozen spins later we finally leveled off. Just when I started to relax into the fall he gave me the signal to pull the parachute. Oh yeah, the chute!

Derek2

I found the rip cord and whoosh, yank, the chute opened and I was prepared for a nice easy ride down to the ground, but Dan had other ideas. He leaned in and said, “Want to do something I just learned!?” And, of course like every sane person falling from the sky I said, “yeah!” Seemingly in an instant he buckled half of the chute and we did “controlled” helicopters most of the way down.

Just as I was getting my stomach realigned we were coming in for the landing. My brother had just landed ahead of us so now it was our moment of truth. Would my cure arthritis t-shirt make it!?

We landed softer than if you stepped off the curb. Dan and the crew at SkyDive Coastal California did a great job and made this Cure Arthritis skydive my most memorable yet! I love getting to come to work everyday in an effort to make a difference. I love that we have dedicated fans, supporters and ambassadors who believe, like we do, that research is the key to finding a cure. And I love that I can use my free time to raise arthritis awareness!

Derek3

So when you’re out there, take a picture of you in your t-shirt or of your cure arthritis bracelet, tweet a message with the hashtag #CureArthritis, fundraise with Racing For A Cure or if you can, make a donation. Together we can and will cure arthritis.

Do you enjoy seeing Derek do something wild for Arthritis Awareness Month? If so, leave your suggestions below about what you think he should do next year!

ANRF
Article Author
Arthritis National Research Foundation
arthritisresearch@curearthritis.org

The Arthritis National Research Foundation's mission is to provide initial research funding to brilliant, investigative scientists with new ideas to cure arthritis and related autoimmune diseases. Writing articles about the patients affected and the science being done to find a cure shows why we need to come together to #CureArthritis!

1 Comment
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    Erin
    Posted at 14:07h, 16 August Reply

    What an amazing and brave story Derek!! Wow!

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