- Associated Press - Monday, June 15, 2015

OGDEN, Utah (AP) - Donna Altop recently found out that she has a brain tumor the size of an orange, a butterfly gioblastoma that affects both sides of her brain and gives her only a few weeks to live.

So the Riverdale 84-year-old went skydiving.

Altop suited up at Skydive Ogden on Saturday afternoon before jumping from a plane with nearly a dozen friends and family members, reports the Standard Examiner (https://bit.ly/1cVXWmZ).

Her husband, Dave, said he was speechless when she told him her plan. But he said he was proud to see her accomplish her dream.

The diagnosis came after Altop began doing some out-of-character things, said her granddaughter Melissa Perkins.

“One thing that was alarming was that she forgot her hair appointment, and ladies of this generation just don’t forget their hair appointment,” said Perkins.

She said the tumor seemed to affect her grandmother’s emotions, too.

“When she got to the hospital and they told her she had a brain tumor it was as if they had told her she had red shoes on,” recalled Perkins. “There was just no reaction. No emotion.”

Doctors gave Altop medicine that helped restore her emotions.

When they told her the type of brain tumor she had would be difficult even for a 29-year-old to deal with, the woman decided to return home and live out the rest of her days completing a bucket list — and the first item was skydiving.

“When I told the doctor she wanted to go skydiving, the first thing out of his mouth was, ‘Really? Skydiving? Can’t it be something else?’” Perkins said.

“But I told him, nope. This is something she really wants to do. She has a bucket list and this was the first thing on the list.”

After skydiving, Altop said she felt amazing and could jump again.

“It was great. It was like a spiritual experience,” she said. “You just feel like you’re part of heaven up there,”


Information from: Standard-Examiner, https://www.standard.net

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