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At 90 and 73, these Georgia daredevils skydive to honor loved ones

The seniors met at the Heartis Senior Living Community.

POLK COUNTY, Ga. — For Lee Ann Wilson and Rod Taylor, age is just a number. They were the perfect example of this Friday afternoon when they decided to go skydiving.

"I'm feeling confident I'm going to get the adrenaline rush that I want," Taylor exclaimed. "At what point in this process is the point of no return?"

Taylor is 73 years young and has Parkinson's. Wilson is 90 and met her fellow daredevil at Heartis Senior Living Community in Buckhead.

They both jumped at this opportunity provided to them by the "Living the Dream" program their center offers.

"Our residents pick one thing from their bucket list they want to check off and we, as a company, plan it out," Director of Sales and Marketing Brittany Carter explained. "It’s inspiring, they’re in their 90s and 70s and willing to do anything. They’re the reason I got up there today."

Both Wilson and Taylor took this leap of faith at Skydive Georgia, in memory of loved ones.

"Maybe I’ll start a trend and hopefully be (the) encouragement to anyone who is aging and think their life is done. It isn’t. I’m going to Egypt on a two-week trip next week," Wilson said.

Wilson says she drew inspiration for her latest courageous leap from her husband. 

"My husband, who was a Marine officer did go to the army's jump school and graduated from there back in the early 60s," she said. "I think what I’m really doing it for is to prove that just because I’m 90 doesn’t mean I’m going to stop living."

Credit: Provided.

For Taylor, springing to the sky meant connecting with his father in a new way, honoring his life and history.

"It’s always been on my bucket list to jump out of an airplane and float through the air and commune with the spirit of my father who was in the 101st Airborne Division and parachuted into Normandy on D-Day," Taylor said.

He rocked a white scarf, which he called his "aviation scarf," and his Heartis "Living the Dream" shirt. He said he felt the adrenaline and rush he wanted.

After making it back to the ground, Heartis had champagne and confetti on-hand for the two seniors.

When asked if she would ever take this leap again, Wilson said on one condition.

"Not this week or next week, I'd rather get new knees first!" she exclaimed.

She was born in Atchison, Kansas, Amelia Earhart's hometown. Wilson thinks that's also part of the reason why she was fine taking flight.

"I decided maybe there was something in the water where I grew up," she joked.

Wilson has four children, 10 grandchildren, five great-grandchildren with two more on the way. Taylor has three children and 10 grandchildren.

Both said that after skydiving, they are now on cloud nine.

"We are celebrating being alive. I'm just so proud to be doing this with you," Taylor said to Wilson. 


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