‘It was heaven’: 92-year-old skydives, raises money for cancer research on anniversary of daughter’s death
LAKE WALES, Fla. - A Polk County woman is taking a cancer fundraiser to new heights.
If Rose Mary Bond comes up with an idea, it seems like nothing is going to stop her. At 92 years old, Bond is still as feisty as ever and on Wednesday, she proved it once again.
She skydived at the Lake Wales Airport in front of friends and family who had come from Sarasota to support her.
The jump was meant to be more than just an adrenaline rush as it was the 57th anniversary of her daughter Greta’s death.
Greta was nine years old when she died from leukemia.
Rose Mary Bond , 92, went skydiving on the 57th anniversary of her daughter's death to raise money for cancer research.
Bond wanted to jump in her honor and raise money for St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital.
Just minutes before she boarded the plane that would take her thousands of feet above the earth for the experience of a lifetime, she spoke with FOX 13.
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"I am ecstatic," she said.
"But not nervous?" FOX 13’s Ken Suarez asked.
Ninety-two-year-old Rose Mary Bond's daughter died from leukemia at the age of nine. Bond decided to skydive on the 57th anniversary of her daughter's death.
She looked at her hand which was steady as a rock.
"Not really," she responded with confidence.
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Her instructor, Humberto Silva of Jump Florida, gave her the same last-second advice he tells all his students.
Rose Mary Bond and instructor get set to land after skydiving in Lake Wales.
"To relax, to enjoy, to breath," he explained.
Then she was off elbow-to-elbow in a plane with more than a dozen other more experienced skydivers who are half her age.
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Finally, the moment of reckoning came, and she, backed by her instructor, who was tethered to her, made the tandem jump.
Rose Mary Bond said skydiving was like heaven.
Five minutes later she landed.
"It was down," she recalled. "Then bam! Finally, it got smooth, and it was heaven. You could see it all," she recalled.
The morning ended with cheers and hugs all the way around.