People with disabilities leave wheelchairs behind to fly

Leaving wheelchairs behind to take flight

ASHBURN, VA. (WUSA9) - iFly, an indoor skydiving facility in Ashburn, Va., hosted a ‘All Abilities Night’ for about two dozen people with special needs to give them the chance fly.

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After Robert Drescher’s injury left him unable to walk, he never thought he’d be able to fly. 

“For me being in a chair I never thought I'd be able to do such a thing,” Drescher said. “After my injury I was thinking I wouldn't be able to keep up with everyone else.”

It was a night Drescher won’t forget.

“To have the wind coming through your hair, across your face, to absorb that feeling is so special,” he said. “I've never felt anything like that. It was very freeing to get out of my chair.”

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Daniela Shirmer came to iFly just to watch.

“I was scared at first, I wasn't going to do it,” she said. “I was just going to watch my boyfriend do it. Somehow I ended up in a suit with goggles on at that point I was like well I better just do it.”

Josh Basile founded Determined to Heal, a support organization for para and quadriplegics.

They get together and do things like this. It gets them back to living by getting them out of their comfort zones.

“So often you get used to your daily life and you don't want to change your routine. But this fully changes your routine,” Basile said.

Basile says it changes your perspective.

“It's a better outlook on things that I can do,” he said. “And I'm able to and I don't have to be held back.”


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