Wings for Life World Run

Skydiver Returns to His Passion After Spine Injury

Jarrett Martin is not your average skydiving instructor – when not in the air, he's in a wheelchair.
By Suzanne Locke

The son and grandson of skydivers, Jarrett Martin made his first solo jump at the age of 14 and is now an instructor at Skydive Dubai. Pretty awesome on its own, but even more so given the fact that he’s a wheelchair-bound paraplegic.

A speed-flying project in Hawaii in 2009 left him with a broken back, paralyzed from the waist down. After working through a year-long rehabilitation, the strong-willed young American was skydiving again within six months. Now he is one of just a dozen paralyzed skydivers in the world.

“My accident was so traumatic; I almost died,” Martin, 25, says in the video clip above. “Every time you look at someone with a spinal cord injury, know that they went through some serious trauma and came a lot closer to dying than you probably have. Think about how they feel to be alive. I’m thankful to be alive.”

While you're thinking about that, allow us to introduce you to the Wings For Life World Run, an event that raises funds that go directly toward efforts to find a cure for spinal cord injury. The event takes place on May 8, 2016, in 34 locations around the world, all at the same time. In the U.S., you can participate in Santa Clarita, Calfornia; Sunrise, Florida; or you can take part wherever you are via the Selfie Run app.

Watch the event live May 8 on the Wings for Life World Run site starting at 6:00 a.m. ET/3:00 a.m. PT.

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