Man With ALS Fulfills Lifelong Skydiving Dream

Tags: Currents Faith, Family, Inspiration, Media

By Jessica Easthope

It started with a surprise from a good friend. It’s been a life of love for aviation for 66-year-old Mark Johnson.

“I used to fly an airplane when I was a kid,” said Mark Johnson. “I always wanted to jump out of one.”

Johnson is living with ALS. He was given two to five years to live, but that was 24 years ago.

Since then, he’s been fighting. However, in mid-April, he was moved into hospice care and was asked if he could do one thing, what would it be. He said he would like to jump out of a plane.

“I’m very excited,” Johnson said. “I’m very grateful to have the opportunity to do it.”

So on Friday, June 14, Mark suited up.

Johnson said he hopes he’s an example of why folks fighting ALS should never give up.

“A lot of people don’t know much about ALS,” Johnson said. “It’s very devastating.”

He credits his courage on this day.

“That has to do with the people I have around me today,” Johnson said. “They gave me that hope and courage. Live one day at a time and live it to the fullest. My father was an airline pilot. I’ve always loved to fly. I think it’s a sense of freedom with all of God’s creations out there. Beyond amazing.”

Johnson actually learned to fly a plane before he had a driver’s license and has always wanted to skydive throughout his life.