If you haven’t heard of Jarrett Martin yet, it’s high time.
Jarrett is one of those kids who grew up living and breathing skydiving. Made his first jump at the ripe old age of 9 with his dad as a his tandem master. Then it was on to BASE jumping, a rigging ticket and flight school. When Jarret was 18, a ground-launching episode gone wrong left him paralyzed from the chest down, along with a host of other injuries.
Most would call it a day at that point, but Jarrett’s love for the sky is strong. 22 years old today and he has been back to jumping for a while. Not just jumping, but competing in classic accuracy. First on a national level and now internationally. There is even a movie out, telling Jarrett’s story from accident to recovery. “Sky High,” a full-length documentary by filmmaker Macaela Vandermost, premiered in Boston last week, but it’s available for viewing online.
It’s impossible to not admire Jarrett’s guts, will and passion for the sky and human flight. In that state of admiration, when focusing on the romantic side of our hero overcoming obstacles, it’s easy to forget the many nuances of life as a paraplegic. And the unique ones that come with being a skydiving paraplegic.
Jarrett has graciously agreed to let us follow him on his journey to Dubai, to compete in the Dubai 4th International Parachuting Championships at the end of this month. Then in 2014, it’s on to Banja Luka in the Republika Srpska (a part of Bosnia and Herzegovina) for the World Parachuting Championships. He has agreed to share the good, the bad and the ugly. Stuff that we don’t think about, like managing a wheelchair and a ton of luggage when flying. Going to the bathroom! Get around crowded places (like airports) when your head is around bum level of everyone else, and a whole host of other things that never cross our two-legged minds.
Traveling to competitions is certainly not cheap, and for Jarrett additional costs apply. If you have it in you to support a kid dreaming big and willing to work hard to make those dreams come true, we can point you in the right direction. Whether you would like to buy him a jump, beer, pull-up cord or a new pair of shoes (since he lost one on opening yesterday), you can do that. Marketing agency Team Nomad has set up a fundraising page via Fundly.com. Click the link to check it out and donate if you’d like. All of the funds raised go straight to Jarrett – Team Nomad (who has other fancy clients like swoop team Alter Ego) is donating their work.
We wish Jarrett all the best preparing and look forward rolling around Dubai and Banja Luka with him.