For every skydive, there’s a skydive story. It’s one of the best parts of our day and business.
People come to Skydive Indianapolis for countless reasons. Some come for the thrill of flying through the skies at 120 mph or to check one off their bucket list. Some do it with a group of friends or family or as a fundraiser. Still others come to celebrate birthdays, anniversaries, graduations or life, itself.
On December 3, 2013, what started as a routine procedure to remove a swollen lymph node in my left armpit became one of the worse days of my life. I was diagnosed with Stage 4 HERS 2 ductal invasive breast cancer. I then had a PET scan, which showed that the cancer had spread to my collarbone. I underwent chemotherapy, a mastectomy and radiation.
Stephanie was declared cancer free on May 12, 2014, but her battle didn’t end there. She still had to complete six more months of chemotherapy, 25 additional radiation therapy treatments, and five reconstruction surgeries. After one of the surgeries, she contracted an infection and had to have her left breast removed again.
A true warrior, Stephanie never gave up, never stopped.
Through it all I kept on living life because I wasn’t going to let cancer win. I continued to go to the gym, walk the dogs and run in 5ks. I refused to let cancer stop me from doing what I loved to do.
All through my treatment I thought, “When I’m done, I’m going skydiving.” I kept that thought even when I was sick and couldn’t do much.
After her last surgery, which was on Good Friday 2016, Stephanie’s husband and best friend surprised her by arranging a skydive at Skydive Indianapolis.
Stephanie brought her battles and victories, her undefeatable spirit and her love of life with her.
I decided to wear my Breast Cancer shirt the morning of the jump because I wanted everyone to know I got the better of cancer and I was going to fulfill a lifetime dream of skydiving. I wanted everyone to know that they should not wait for a tragedy to get out there and live your dreams; do it now.
And so, after years of surgeries, chemotherapy and radiation treatments, Stephanie experienced her skydive story. And it was amazing.
I want to thank Smurf and Star for being so sweet and making my experience so great and exciting. You will always be a part of my memory of this day.