Frank and Bruce go Skydiving

Frank T., 90, from Brookdale Grants Pass Springs in Grants Pass, Oregon, has always dreamed of flying. When he was 10 years old, Frank made a pair of wings and jumped off the top of a barn. He fell about 30 feet and sprained both of his ankles, but said he “didn’t feel anything” because he was flying. As Frank jumped off the top of the barn, it dawned on him that he had a fire inside of him that would not die. Ever since then, Frank has felt a need to fly.

Frank was diagnosed with cancer in 2008. During this time, Frank shared with his orthopedic doctor, Bruce Perry, that he would like to go skydiving. Dr. Perry, 66, said if Frank was ever able to skydive, he would go with him. Dr. Perry has performed 9 surgeries on Frank, and has successfully put Frank back together every time. The two joked around that if Frank fell apart while skydiving, Dr. Perry would put Frank back together again like he has in the past. The two have known each other for 14 years now, and have become more like friends than doctor and patient.

Frank said this wish “keeps me going because I keep thinking, ‘I can do this!’” This determination allowed Frank to battle cancer with a strong will and positive attitude. Frank is in remission today, but continues to dream of skydiving. Wish of a Lifetime and Brookdale Senior Living sent Frank and Dr. Perry skydiving on June 18, 2016. Frank always thought this wish was “the impossible dream. To be among birds, above the Earth, to fly like an eagle. What could be better than that?” Frank and Dr. Perry loved having a thrill of a lifetime. Frank said "I can't describe how exhilarating it was. We had more fun than a barrel of monkey's. I dreamed of doing this for 80 years. The first time I jumped, I fell 30 feet. This time I flew 16,500 feet!"