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Woman with cerebral palsy discovers passion for skydiving

Although her electric wheelchair is limited to five speeds, Alexis Baird races it like there’s six.

“I’m a big time adrenaline junkie,” she smiles.

Yet, Alexis says that growing up with cerebral palsy and living with chronic pain can feel like being stuck in neutral.

“I’d see kids running around, playing on the merry-go-rounds,” Alexis recalls. “I was just thinking in my head, ‘Oh I wish I could that.’”

When she asked to go on amusement park rides, she was told “no.” Same thing with bungee-jumping — “no.” So when the 27-year-old happened to notice someone skydiving one day, Alexis had no doubt what the answer would be.

“You just kind of give up because you don’t think that there is ever anything possible,” Alexis says.

But then the staff at Skydive Vancouver Island said “yes.”

“I literally looked at the owner and went, ‘Could you say that again?’” Alexis recalls her surprise. “And she said, ‘Yes.’”

And Alexis finally felt hope.

“We’re making my dream come true,” Alexis beamed, before boarding the plane.

As it soared 11,000 feet above the ground, Alexis says she felt no regret, no fear, and then there was no turning back.

Supported by a professional skydiver, Alexis erupted out of the plane with a smile.

After decades of being denied, after a lifetime of feeling confined, for the first time in her life, Alexis felt free.

“It’s the feeling of taking chains off of you,” she says of being unstrapped from her wheelchair and flying through the sky. “You realize you can do it, and feels out of this world.”

And after she landed safely, her joy couldn’t be contained.

“Not only did I find something I can do,” Alexis smiles, “I found something that I love.”

That love grew during her second dive, and is destined to endure now that Alexis has committed to do it every year for the rest of her life.

“Who knew jumping out of a plane was my ticket to freedom,” Alexis says.

Now Alexis says she has no doubt that no matter your situation, no matter your transportation, you should never give up on finding your inspiration.

“Don’t ever,” Alex says emphatically. “Don’t ever let anything stop you.” Top Stories

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