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Cardiff man takes a leap of faith for sight loss charity

A blind man from Cardiff says that his eye condition will not hold him back as he prepares to take to the skies for a sponsored skydive. 

Daniel Thomas, 32, will be taking part in the RNIB Big Jump fundraising challenge at Swansea Airfield on Saturday 28 March 2020.  

The Big Jump aims to get as many people as possible free-falling together over one weekend in twelve locations across the UK. Jumpers skydive with a trained instructor from a height of 10,000 feet, freefalling for 5,000 feet before releasing their parachute and gliding back to solid ground. 

Daniel, who was born with Microphthalmia and registered blind within 24 hours of life, is a technology volunteer for RNIB Cymru and runs regular social groups for blind and partially sighted people in Cardiff through the charity. He decided to tackle the Big Jump after finding out about the vertigo-inducing challenge through another group member in 2019.  

Daniel’s Big Jump hopes to raise £1,000 for RNIB Cymru. He has already reached over half of his target by hosting a Jiu Jitsu fundraising day in Trefforest in support of his freefall.  

Daniel said: “I’ve never done anything like this before but jumping out of a plane sounds like so much fun I couldn’t say no! I’m expecting to feel quite an adrenaline rush so I’m teaching myself to remember to breathe and relax. I think my Jiu Jitsu training will be handy as we practice staying calm under pressure. 

“I can’t wait for the Big Jump. It is an opportunity for me to challenge myself and to also challenge people’s preconceptions about what blind and partially sighted people can do.”

RNIB Cymru’s Director Ansley Workman said: “The Big Jump is a fantastic way for fundraisers to reach new heights and try something new and exciting for a good cause. Congratulations to Daniel for taking on this sky-high challenge. The money he has raised will enable RNIB to continue breaking down barriers for blind and partially sighted people across the country.

“RNIB Cymru hopes that people from across Wales will sign up for the upcoming skydive in March and help make this the largest Big Jump ever!”