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He helps seniors skydive, parasail and cross off other bucket list adventures

For CNN Hero Webb Weiman, helping a 90-year-old woman realize her dream of skydiving was just the beginning. He's on a mission to help seniors live life to the fullest by turning their bucket lists into reality.

Posted: Oct 10, 2019 6:40 PM
Updated: Oct 10, 2019 6:40 PM

Webb Weiman was 25 when his mother passed away after a decade-long battle with cancer.

After the loss, his father began to isolate himself and ceased living the vibrant life he once led.

"I'd come home and find my father alone in his dark bedroom," Weiman said. "He was once so adventurous, but the loss just caused him to retreat."

Weiman decided to intervene. He found his mother's phone book and set his father up on a date. That date eventually led to marriage.

"It gave him a new lease on life," Weiman said.

Through the experience, Weiman found a new passion: helping seniors achieve what's left on their bucket lists.

Today, his nonprofit, My Jump!, has taken nearly 50 senior citizens on adventures.

"I tell seniors to live by two rules: There are no bad bucket list wishes, and everyone should have a bucket list wish," Weiman said. "We are ... showing folks they can do incredible things."

In 2011, Weiman took his first participant skydiving on her 90th birthday. Since then, he's helped seniors from across the country cross off bucket list items like skydiving, race car driving, parasailing and flying over the Grand Canyon.

"It's seeing the spark in their eye," Weiman said. "It could be stepping off a plane, off a Goodyear blimp, off a purple Harley. It's just knowing what you've done made a difference in their life."

Weiman arranges all the details for each participant—all they need to do is show up. His group films each experience and creates videos he calls Jumpisodes for the participant to share with their family.

"This organization is all about making memories," he said. "Every time they land on the ground or get out of the racecar, it's a memory that will stay with them. And it is part of their legacy that their families will remember for many years to come."

CNN's Meghan Dunn spoke with Weiman about his work. Below is an edited version of their conversation.

CNN: Why is it important for seniors be active and find adventure?

Webb Weiman: The reality of living in isolation is out there and it's real. If you were to ask me, "Webb, is your father ever going to be living in isolation in the privacy of his own room under his roof?" -- I would say not in a million years. But it creeps up when you least expect it. Whether it's a spouse passing away, whether it's a son or a daughter who gets too busy with their own life and they're 1,000 miles away, it is increasing at an alarming rate. That's really one of the driving forces for us to keep going, for us to take those people out of isolation (and) drag the bucket list out of them.

CNN: When did you know you were on to something with this idea?

Weiman: When I joined Estelle on her 90th birthday, I made a little video, which turned out to be the start of our Jumpisodes. I went back to her senior living community to show this six-minute video. Right afterwards, this sweet, petite gal walks up to me and says, "I'd like to go racecar driving." And when I say sweet, petite—Edna Baldwin is about 4'7" and with her wig, about 5'1". Two weeks before turning 92, we got Edna behind the wheel of a 550-horsepower NASCAR-sanctioned racecar, where she did 11 laps. But what was really amazing is the fact that she needed not one, not two, but three pillows to see over the dash. And shortly after that, I thought, holy cow, we're off to the races.

CNN: What do you hope the seniors to get from these experiences?

Weiman: We want to get the message across to them that there is hope and there is a way to fulfill their dreams. Those are truly some of the most gratifying moments that I've witnessed. Seeing someone come from the darkness into the light.

I'll read a handwritten letter from a daughter saying how the event forever changed the life of their father or their grandfather. We get phone calls, emails, handwritten letters. This is a constant. And it's a huge reminder validating what we do.

Want to get involved? Check out the My Jump! website and see how to help.

To donate to My Jump! via CrowdRise, click here

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 501097

Reported Deaths: 9990
CountyCasesDeaths
Harrison34338538
DeSoto32117403
Hinds31939628
Jackson24494382
Rankin21995390
Lee15543235
Madison14581280
Jones13851242
Forrest13453251
Lauderdale11991317
Lowndes11050188
Lamar10521135
Pearl River9533237
Lafayette8550140
Hancock7732127
Washington7438158
Oktibbeha7146131
Monroe6777177
Warren6694176
Pontotoc6664102
Neshoba6637206
Panola6531131
Marshall6467134
Bolivar6317148
Union602894
Pike5820152
Alcorn5669101
Lincoln5436135
George496879
Scott472898
Tippah469281
Prentiss467281
Leflore4658144
Itawamba4636105
Tate4588111
Adams4587119
Copiah448592
Simpson4446116
Yazoo444187
Wayne439772
Covington428894
Sunflower4239105
Marion4226108
Coahoma4160105
Leake408288
Newton381779
Grenada3707108
Stone360364
Tishomingo359792
Attala331589
Jasper329965
Winston314291
Clay308076
Chickasaw300367
Clarke292494
Calhoun279446
Holmes267987
Smith264050
Yalobusha234047
Tallahatchie228051
Greene219348
Walthall218763
Lawrence212940
Perry205556
Amite205156
Webster202946
Noxubee186740
Montgomery179656
Jefferson Davis171743
Carroll169138
Tunica159839
Benton148838
Kemper141941
Choctaw133426
Claiborne132737
Humphreys129538
Franklin120228
Quitman106428
Wilkinson105139
Jefferson94534
Sharkey64120
Issaquena1937
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 819597

Reported Deaths: 15406
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson1147901924
Mobile725791338
Madison52306697
Shelby37597350
Baldwin37245552
Tuscaloosa35101612
Montgomery34106740
Lee23526246
Calhoun22225488
Morgan20941378
Etowah19825500
Marshall18361304
Houston17384412
St. Clair16054339
Cullman15443293
Limestone15343199
Elmore15241286
Lauderdale14302295
Talladega13836283
DeKalb12649261
Walker11202370
Blount10192176
Autauga10043148
Jackson9871184
Coffee9210191
Dale8897185
Colbert8860201
Tallapoosa7084198
Escambia6772134
Covington6712183
Chilton6641162
Russell636659
Franklin5959105
Chambers5607142
Marion5005127
Dallas4973200
Pike4795106
Clarke475584
Geneva4571127
Winston4516103
Lawrence4321117
Bibb425186
Barbour357776
Marengo338090
Monroe331464
Randolph329764
Butler326396
Pickens316284
Henry312666
Hale311388
Cherokee302860
Fayette292880
Washington251551
Cleburne247760
Crenshaw245275
Clay243368
Macon234663
Lamar224147
Conecuh186153
Coosa180240
Lowndes175164
Wilcox168839
Bullock151644
Perry138840
Sumter133038
Greene126744
Choctaw88527
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