Local 87-year-old full fills lifelong dream

Man goes hang gliding

DAVENPORT, Fla. – A knee, shoulder and hip replacement done twice didn't stop a thrill-seeking 87-year-old man's dream to soar through the sky.

Jim Willis, a cancer survivor, and great-grandfather to 20, has had a dream to hang glide for more than a decade.

Willis, a longtime resident of Bradenton’s Brookdale Senior Living community, wants to show older people that “you are never too old to try something new.”


Willis had an opportunity to fulfill his wish of hang gliding over a decade ago, but the weather did not cooperate when he was set to launch, and he missed his chance. He has regretted not being able to hang glide since.

The community came together to help him achieve his dream.
A company teamed up with Wish of a Lifetime, a nonprofit organization committed to shifting how society views aging by fulfilling the dreams of seniors.

Willis' wish to “soar through the air like a bird” 2,000 feet above the ground came true on Friday.

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