Diabetes at 20,000 Feet & Falling

Dec 1, 1992

Why should having diabetes undermine any of your lifelong goals or ambitions? Take Dennis Testoni for an example of someone who hasn't allowed his diabetes to impose barriers on his life. Ever since he was a kid, Dennis wanted to skydive. Even after being diagnosed with type I diabetes in 1967 when he was thirteen, Dennis never lost sight of his goal.

On June 24, 1973, Dennis took his first jump in spite of any warnings about his diabetes. Determined to attain his dream of jumping out of an airplane, Dennis had to lie about his disease to ensure that it wouldn't disqualify him from jumping. The freefall experience was so terrifying for Dennis that it would be another five years until he jumped again.

Now, almost 20 years later, Dennis has completed nearly 1500 jumps. Based at Ellington Airport, in Ellington, Connecticut, he is rated as an Accelerated Freefall Instructor, a Conventional Instructor, he has a Professional Demonstration License, and is an F.A.A. Senior Parachute Rigger. The types of jumps that Dennis specializes in include night jumps, water jumps, demonstration jumping, and camera jumping.

Pretty amazing for someone who's beginnings were from watching "Ripcord" on television as a kid.

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Categories: Diabetes, Personal Stories

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