Blind Polmont dad taking on skydive to support son's fight against life-limiting disease
A blind dad is going to extreme heights to support his son and those like him who suffer from Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy (DMD).
Polmont resident Joe Moan, 41, has signed up to take part in Muscular Dystrophy UK (MDUK)’s national skydive in June in honour of five-year-old Jack Robinson.
Jack was diagnosed with DMD in 2019 following several trips to the doctor to try to find out why he was unable to walk until after his second birthday.
Doctors told Mr Moan and his wife, Nuala, their boy would be in a wheelchair by the time he reached high school.
Mr Moan, a self-confessed adrenaline junkie, “jumped” at the chance when the charity asked if he’d be willing to get involved in its tandem skydive.
His pledge of support comes just weeks after his son’s school, St Margaret’s Primary, raised more than £1200 for the organisation by participating in its Go Bright campaign in honour of the Primary 1 pupil.
Most would naturally feel apprehensive about flying through the sky with only a parachute for company.
However, Mr Moan is a seasoned thrill seeker who has already skydived as a teenager, completed bungee jumps and paraglided off Mount Teide in Tenerife.
The upcoming skydive – taking place in St Andrews – is just the latest in a line of experiences he’s grabbed with both hands.
Ahead of the event, Mr Moan has been doing his utmost to spread awareness of MDUK and raise money to support research into the life-limiting condition via a fundraising page and a discussion with Kaye Adams on BBC Radio Scotland.
He said: “We were planning on doing the skydive last September but it got cancelled.
“Muscular Dystophy UK broached the subject with me a few weeks ago and I jumped at the opportunity.
“I did one when I was about 18 but that’s when I could see a lot better because I’m registered blind. I know when to pull the chord because the lead goes slack.
“There are about ten places so I think they’re still looking for other victims! I throw myself at anything that gives me an adrenaline rush.”
Ms Robinson said: “Jack cannot run or jump and walks at a much slower pace than his peers.
“We as a family have adapted to his needs and capabilities, but life in general cannot adapt to Jack, so we will do all we can to help him through the stages of his life.
“He is currently taking daily steroids, which can affect his behaviour and emotions.
“We try our best to do as much as a family as possible, so that Jack can experience as much of the outside world whist he is still without a wheelchair and mainly independent.”
Dean Widd, MDUK regional development manager, said: “It has been a delight to see such great support for St Margaret’s Primary School.
“Their recent Go Bright fundraising efforts helped raise awareness of muscular dystrophy and vital funds to support the work of Muscular Dystrophy UK, while helping to make every day count for Jack and those with muscle-wasting conditions.
“Well done and thank you!”
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