Ollie Treacy, Doon, wasn’t afraid of a skydive. His niece and fellow MS sufferer Noirín, who came up with the idea, is beside him. Back row: Aoife Carew, Rowan Treacy, Conor Hayes and Mike Treacy
IF BEING in a wheelchair wasn’t going to stop Ollie Treacy from jumping out of a plane then Storm Brian certainly wasn’t.
The skydive in Offaly by 23 members of a Doon family and their friends was postponed until Saturday. Once again the weather conditions were inclement but 16 of the travelling party got to glide gently to the ground from 13,000 feet in the air.
Multiple Sclerosis sufferer Ollie has been confined to a wheelchair for three years but he left it behind him on the ground on Saturday.
“There was no time to get nervous. The instructor is attached to my back. We’re strapped together fair tight. We were sitting on benches in a small plane. I was the first out. When the lights went green to jump we just slid along the bench and straight out the door,” said the 54-year-old.
It is like floating in a cloud for a good while, said Ollie.
“It is like travelling at 130 miles per hour and some one spraying water into your face. It was exhilarating. The landing was perfect. I’d do another skydive!” said Ollie.
His twin sister, Mags Treacy, was also very brave as not only is she afraid of heights but she isn’t too fond of flying either.
“Sixteen of us did it but seven didn’t do it as they suspended it on account of the weather. They’re going to go back and do it. We’re all alive thank God – it was freezing but fantastic up there.
“I’m scared of heights and I don’t like flying. I had done one previously in Australia so I knew what the lay of the land was. I won’t be doing another one though - two is plenty!” joked Mags, who is very proud of her twin.
“The instructors were fantastic. It is a fantastic opportunity for someone like Oliver. After landing they had him back in his wheelchair in two seconds,” said Mags.
Her niece, Noirín, who like Ollie has Multiple Sclerosis, came up with the idea and more and more family and friends came on board.
Margaret rang the Multiple Sclerosis Society of Ireland to tell them the Treacy family were interested in doing a skydive to raise some money for the charity.
“They asked if there was anybody in a wheelchair interested in doing it,” said Mags.
Naturally, she asked if disabled people could do a skydive, and companies cater for everyone.
To date the Treacy family and friends have raised over €20,000 for the Multiple Sclerosis Society of Ireland. Everyone of the 23 had sponsorship cards and they also got great support in their home parish of Doon.
“We would like to thank everybody who did anything to help out,” said Mags.
It is stil possible to donate on Noirín’s Go Fund Me page. Noirín says Multiple Sclerosis is an illness very close to her own heart and her family’s.
Log onto https://give.everydayhero.com/ie/skydiveforms for more information.