Thanks to the care team at Ohio’s Hospice, Paula Kasserman fulfilled her bucket list goal of skydiving, soaring thousands of feet above the Ohio countryside.
“I loved it,” said Kasserman who has Stage 4 cancer. “I enjoyed all of it. This was my first time. I had fun. I really did.”
When Amanda Cosentino, medical social worker at Ohio’s Hospice LifeCare, learned that skydiving was on Kasserman’s bucket list, she reached out to AerOhio Skydiving in Ashland, Ohio. Kasserman was concerned about whether they would allow her to jump due to her medical condition. When Cosentino contacted AerOhio, they explained that Kasserman could be cleared to jump with a letter from her physician and by answering a few questions on the day of the jump.
“After discussing her condition, concerns and risks with our care team, Dr. David Lance, our team physician at Ohio’s Hospice LifeCare, provided a letter to Paula,” Cosentino said. “I helped Paula schedule a jump through the AerOhio website.”
While Kasserman paid for the skydiving jump herself, Katherine Ritchie, development director at Ohio’s Hospice LifeCare, reached out to AerOhio to inquire about a donation towards capturing the day. AerOhio offered to provide the video package to Kasserman at no charge.
“We’re grateful to AerOhio for making this such a wonderful and memorable experience for Paula,” Ritchie said. “Along with their wonderful staff, their donation of the video enhanced the experience for Paula and her family, helping to ensure that they have lifelong memories of this special moment.”
Paula’s family watched her and cheered her on as she did a tandem jump with an experienced instructor. She was harnessed to the instructor during freefall and landing. They jumped from a twin-engine jump aircraft.
Cosentino and Christy Strock, volunteer administrative assistant at Ohio’s Hospice LifeCare, also watched Kasserman as she jumped out of the plane. “It was such an inspiring moment, watching Paula and knowing that she fulfilled her goal of skydiving,” Cosentino said. “Our care team was honored and privileged to help her fulfill this goal on her bucket list.”
To view the video, click here: https://skydive.shredvideo.com/f/kZssQkndcD
Ohio’s Hospice LifeCare, a not-for-profit organization established in 1982, is an affiliate of Ohio’s Hospice that serves communities in northeast Ohio. It embodies the spirit of neighbors caring for neighbors with a commitment to relieve suffering, ease fears, and provide companionship along life’s last journey. Ohio’s Hospice LifeCare addresses patient and family needs wherever the patient calls home. Services also include access to the Stanley C. and Flo K. Gault Inpatient Pavilion, providing short-term patient care to manage acute symptoms, adjust medications, or stabilize patient condition. The Marilyn B. and Mark E. Gustafson Center for Supportive Care includes Ohio’s Hospice LifeCare’s Volunteer Services, the Pathways of HopeSM Grief Counseling Center, and transportation service and support.