Cathy Speck, center is strapped to tandem skydive jump master Sean Harrison as they jump in 2010 with skydivers Maggie Williams, left, and Perry Colburn. Courtesy photo

Local News

Speck’s supporters take to the skies to support ALS research

By From page A10 | April 07, 2013

Determined to raise money to help find a cure for ALS — most commonly called Lou Gehrig’s disease — the Specktaculars, a team composed of friends, family and co-workers of Davis native Cathy Speck, plan an unorthdox skydiving fundraiser Sunday, May 5. The fun runs from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis is a fatal, progressive neuromuscular disease. It can impact anyone; there are no racial, ethnic, or socioeconomic boundaries, and it is very rarely genetic. The average life expectancy is two to five years post-diagnosis. There is no cure.

Speck was diagnosed with the genetic form of ALS in 2009.

“Skydiving is exciting, awe-inspiring and it attracts a lot of attention, which is why we’re using it as an ALS awareness opportunity,” she said in a news release.

“I’ve heard so many people say they don’t like heights, and the thought of jumping out of a plane terrifies them,” said Speck, who skydived herself in 2010. “I don’t like heights either, but this is different.

“It never feels like falling, it feels like flying. It’s almost a spiritual experience.”

SkyDance SkyDiving at the Yolo County Airport, 24390 Aviation Ave., has set aside a block of time for the Specktaculars from 10:30 a.m. to noon. There are about 24 slots. The deadline for reserving a spot and paying a $25 deposit is April 21; visit www.skydanceskydiving.net or call 1-800-SKY-DIVE.

Picnic tables and free beverages, chips, dips and cookies will be provided by Speck and members of the Specktaculars team. Community members who want to stay firmly anchored to land are welcome to bring picnic lunches and watch the skydivers float back to Earth.

For more information, email Speck at [email protected].

Enterprise staff

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