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B.C. nonagenarians sky dive to raise money for seniors home

A couple of seniors from B.C. were able to check skydiving off their bucket lists this week.

Henry Martens, 95, and Etta Hellyer, 90, jumped out of planes Saturday to raise funds for a seniors care facility in Abbotsford, B.C., according to a CBC News story.

Martens’ wife and mother had lived in the facility. Hellyer, who also took the plunge to celebrate her 90th birthday, told CBC News that while she still lives on her own, she could end up at the seniors home one day.

She said that she was looking forward to the jump, but was worried as she had recently broken her leg.

“As you get older, I don’t think you get nervous about things so much,” Hellyer told CBC.

“I just want to see the beautiful world. Everybody has said how beautiful it is to jump out of a plane.”

Four generations from each of their families also joined them on the jump Saturday. Hellyer’s daughter, Cathy, told CBC that her mother’s jump sets new precedents that seniors are “not relegated to wheelchairs.”

 “To keep fit, keep mentally active as you’re a senior, I think that’s the only way to live life,” she said.

As for Martens, he said he’ll try it all again when he is 100. The risk-taking senior said jumping out of a plane wasn’t even the most adventurous thing he has ever done.

“Yeah, it’s nothing really,” he said.

“I’ve done worse than that.”

Martens, who is a retired photographer, claimed that some of his adventures over the years have included fighting off an attacker with a knife, accidentally crawling into a bear’s den, and skiing out of an avalanche.

“They say a cat has nine lives,” he said. “I’ve lived eight of them.”