(Editor’s note: This is the first part of a series of so-called "bucket list" features. We will be profiling people who have accomplished notable life goals or participated in events that are in many cases out of the ordinary.)
Luling native Deidre Faucheux said she had never thought of skydiving before the opportunity arose. It was only after reading a friend’s posting on Facebook asking for people to participate in a fundraiser for local resident Patricia Hoffman who suffers from amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, commonly known as ALS or Lou Gehrig’s disease, that Faucheux seriously thought of skydiving.
"I thought if ever I want to do it this just makes it a more perfect opportunity," Faucheux said. "Well, it might have just crossed my mind. It wasn’t on my bucket list per se, but when the opportunity arose I thought–I think I’ll do this."
The benefit jump is part of a larger national movement dubbed skydive4ALS that currently boasts 15,000 supporters nationwide.
Faucheux said the idea of jumping out of an airplane at 10,000 feet and falling through the air did not faze her at all.
"Personally it seemed safer jumping out of the plane," said Faucheux. "Because the plane had what I said was duct tape holding part of it together, but they corrected me and said it was ‘aeronautical tape.’ I said ‘it looks like duct tape to me!’ Personally I felt safer getting on the ground than staying in the plane."
Faucheux said she was part of a tandem jump where an inexperienced jumper is strapped to the back of an instructor who controls the parachute apparatus on the way down. Faucheux said she looked forward to the fall and that it had an added meaning for her.
"You know I am recently divorced so I was just using it as a new mantra for my life," Faucheux said. "No fear, no trepidation, just roll on out hit the ground never look back, just keep on going."
The jump came and out of the door of the small airplane Faucheux went. She said outside of not being able to breathe as well as she had hoped the experience was exhilarating.
"On my fall, personally, it was hard for me to breathe," said Faucheux. "I had to cup my nose, which sometimes they say some people do have that issue. So I was fine and once he opened the chute he was gliding and he was doing all of his little tricks and turns and it was just fabulous."
After coming back to earth Faucheux said given the chance again she would not hesitate to jump again.
On the day Faucheux jumped family members of notable ALS patient and former Saints player Steve Gleason were also jumping as part of the larger fundraising effort.
The fundraiser was based out of Slidell Airport and is the second annual event. Each jumper raised $100 for their patient. On the day of Faucheux’s jump $600 was raised from six local jumpers for Hoffman’s cause.
The ALS fundraiser was the second annual local event. A third annual skydive4ALS fundraiser is scheduled to take place next year in late April or early May in Slidell.