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85-year-old Buckner resident skydives to celebrate birthday

Skydiving has been on Hisae (Sue) DeCostanza’s bucket list since she turned 75. As the recreational activity started gaining popularity and people became accustomed to the idea that one could safely parachute out of planes, Sue decided she would like to give it a go. She turned 85 on June 28 and she jump out of a plane July 5 with a skydiving team at Gladewater Municipal Airport. Fellow friends and neighbors at the Buckner Westminster Place senior living community were there to support her jump and cheer her on.

“I want to go skydiving because I want to see the earth from a wholly different view,” Sue said. “I want to freefall, watch how everything in my sight rapidly changes, then coast peacefully once the parachute is pulled and observe everything in a new perspective. My son and his wife are coming out to support me and watch my jump as well. I think it will be exhilarating.”

A Japan native, she crafted some jogging pants with one leg decorated in the American flag and the other decorated in the Japanese flag. Sue was not nervous or afraid to go skydiving. Although many people fear flying in airplanes, let alone jumping from them, she quite enjoys being up in the sky and observing everything below. Sue has traveled many times on flights between Japan and the United States, so she felt very comfortable with her decision. She was ecstatic to complete her dream of skydiving, and says she might to do it again.

[video aspect_ratio="16:9" width="100" autoplay="0"]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=19R5iKIt2zE [/video]

“We are all getting older every day, so if we want to do something, we should just make it happen,” Sue said. “Living like this means we won’t have many, if any, regrets. People should do the things they want to do. I like experiencing new things and want to have fun in retirement. I have a couple of things left on my bucket list. I would very much like to visit China and walk on the Great Wall. I would also like to revisit Cheyenne, Wyo., where I lived for many years of my life.”

In addition to skydiving, Sue is intrigued by the idea of riding in a hot air balloon, but other than that, she mostly enjoys traveling and experiencing new things. She swims for exercise regularly, goes to fitness classes and has recently started going to Zumba Gold classes, which are Zumba classes designed for seniors. An energetic woman with a determination to live life to the fullest, she has not let age slow her down in any regard.

“Sue is an inspiration to us all and we were all eager to support her,” said Wes Wells, executive director of Buckner Westminster Place. “Even in retirement, we can still experience new things, discover new dreams and wishes, and live life wholeheartedly. Sue does not let her age define her or get in the way of her goals. She is a spirited, outgoing, personable woman with a zeal for life, someone we could all learn from.”

-Forte Public Relations, Inc.

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