Birthday Wish Granted: Disabled Veteran Skydives For Fun!
David is a United States Army veteran who served in the 173rd Airborne Engineers Combat Team (also known as the “Sky Soldiers”) during the Vietnam War. Today, David is on a disability pension as he suffers from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and Parkinson’s Disease. When he and his wife, Elizabeth, first discovered Rendever, Elizabeth immediately applied to the Expanding Impact program and asked for an equipment loan to make her husband’s dreams come true:
“My husband’s life was full of action until he began to fall ill. He misses the thrill of the jumps that he used to take in the military. We looked into skydiving while in a wheelchair, but it is just not medically possible for him. I would like him to experience it at least once, even if virtually. He is coming up on 74 years old and says repeatedly he wishes he could do some of these things one more time. A 30 day loan would make his later years young again.”
We knew that Rendever could make David’s upcoming 74th birthday really special with our virtual skydiving experiences and provided his family with a two month loan.
David’s family threw him a big party for his birthday and got to “skydiving” as a group. Elizabeth chuckled over the phone when she shared that “David just kept saying ‘WOW’ for the entire 5 minute experience with a giant grin on his face.” David revealed what it was like to be immersed in these special moments:
“I was totally amazed by the genuine feelings that were produced in Rendever’s experiences. When I went skydiving I could feel the wind and the pressure on my body as I was falling. Our kids were freaking out while they skydived with me. It was so nice to share that with them…
Rendever helped me to experience skydiving in a different atmosphere than the war. I was able to enjoy it as a sport rather than a life or death situation. This truly was a therapeutic gift and brought back the good memories of free-falling but this time I was in the driver’s seat and I had a greater sense of control.”
At the end of the two month loan the couple thanked Rendever for making David’s 74th birthday a dream come true and asked to be considered for another grant in the future so that David can have more time to relive pastimes like, fishing, hunting and hiking.
Reducing social isolation is at the heart of Rendever’s mission. If you know someone who would benefit from a Rendever Experience Grant feel free to learn more below.
Rendever’s Expanding Impact program just launched to help non-traditional customers enjoy the power of shared experience. Anyone can apply to receive a Rendever Experience Grant, giving them access to a short-term loan of our platform for any type of circumstances. Each quarter, we’ll review submissions and select deserving families to grant a rental to, with everything they need. If you’d like to apply, additional information and a short application form are available at rendever.com/expanding-impact.