ORMOND BEACH, Fla,. – The day before John Krans will turn 82 years old, he’s taking to the skies to jump out of a perfectly good airplane.
“On Friday I’m going to skydive!” he said.
Skydiving is a hobby Krans picked up just five years ago. Friday’s jump, though, won’t be all about the thrill. He said it comes with a special purpose.
“I want to jump hopefully to bring awareness (to) cerebral palsy and also cancer,” he said.
Krans is a cancer survivor. His daughter, Sherry Walier, is currently battling breast cancer. His granddaughter, Lauren Walier, lives with cerebral palsy (CP) — a group of disorders that affects movement.
“He adores his granddaughter and would do anything, even jump out of an airplane to raise awareness. He’s so passionate about it,” Sherry Walier said.
Supporting his family is something the Waliers said Krans goes above and beyond to do.
“Hats off to him man! You’d have to push me out of the plane!” Lauren Walier said.
Lauren Walier, now 23 years old, was told she would never walk or live a normal life but she pushed through physical therapy, growing from a wheelchair to now a ballroom dancer.
When she was 12, she said she learned there was no federal funding for CP research and set out to raise the money herself by creating the Make Lemonaide Foundation.
“Like a lot of diagnoses, CP is not cookie-cutter. It affects everyone uniquely,” she said.
Krans hopes his jump on Friday will raise money for her foundation which provides children with CP grants for physical therapy.
“We’re raising money to give other children with Cerebral Palsy the opportunity to have a more normal life,” he said.
For those who can’t donate, the family simply asks people for kindness and to do their research by talking to someone with CP to spread understanding.
“We’re really not that different, just because our body might work a little different,” Lauren Walier said.
As for Krans, it’s all about living with a positive attitude and taking risks to make a mark.
“I wasn’t even nervous the first time I jumped! I’m excited,” he said.
Krans will be jumping out of a location in Plant City. He said he’s going to take a video of the jump, post and share it, and asks people to donate to Make Lemonaide. If you’d like to donate, you can find the foundation’s website here.