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Teens Jump from the sky to Jump Start 08

Media release 1 February 2007

Teens Jump from the sky to Jump Start 08

CanTeen members Daniel and Josh Bliek are set to take part in Jump Start a project providing young people the opportunity to challenge themselves in a tandem parachute jump from an RNZAF Hercules. Jump Start takes place at Whenuapai Airbase, Auckland on 16 February 2008.

For CanTeen members Daniel (19) and Josh (17) this will be a very special occasion as they make the jump together. The brother’s story is one of courage and inspiration. Daniel who has terminal cancer made the jump last year with his brother Josh knowing it could possibly be his last chance. It was a thrilling and rewarding experience for both the boys. Beating all odds Daniel is still with us and has been given the all clear to make the Hercules jump again with his brother while he still has the energy and the time. Both boys are members of a 25 strong Jump Start group from CanTeen, a national peer support network for young people age 13-24 yrs living with the effects of cancer.

Jump Start began in 2007 when skydiving enthusiast Pete Maher wanted to do something different for his 50th birthday. Rather than having a party Maher decided he wanted to share it with young people undergoing big life experiences.
“Skydiving is an intense experience. One jump can change your life, so Jump Start is all about the experience of being in the moment and being alive.” says Maher.

Once again this year Maher and Jump Start will invite members from CanTeen and Project K to join him in the air and experience a tandem skydive. Maher chose these organizations because they both deal with young people facing enormous challenges.

“Being in the present doesn’t mean living as if the future won’t happen, or as if the past doesn’t matter. It simply means being fully engaged in life as it is happening – being present. Jumping from a plane, accompanied as it is by a rush of adrenaline, offers a particularly vivid experience of being present. Adrenaline is the body’s response to facing fear, and the fear of falling is perhaps the most primal of human fears,” says Maher.

Jump Start has been made possible by the support of the Royal New Zealand Air Force who are providing a Hercules C130 aircraft with crew and tandem masters - as well as the skydiving community who are donating time and services to fulfill this mission.

Jump Start 08 will see many youngsters face their fears and is sure to provide huge inspiration to the whole community.


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