Dying Saanich man crosses off bucket list adventure

Dying Saanich man crosses off bucket list adventure

Living life to the fullest. That’s what one Saanich man was out achieving on Sunday. Diagnosed with an incurable brain tumour a year ago, the 61-year-old continues to check items off his bucket list, including a jump from the heavens. Andy Neal reports. 

Peter Rey isn’t a daredevil.

But the 61-year-old is earning that title in North Saanich by signing up for a thrill of his lifetime at Victoria Skydivers on a significant date.

“Everything happens on the 23rd. That’s when this started,” Rey said, speaking of his brain tumour.

“Twenty-third of June a year ago. The tumour introduced itself with by giving me a grand mal seizure.”

Rey has an inoperable brain tumour and was told he likely only has a year or two left to live. So Rey is making the most of what time he has left.

This June, he accomplished his first goal by earning his high school diploma from SJ Willis School in Victoria.

Number two on his bucket list was skydiving.

After formalities, it was time to get suited up on Sunday.

Rey started first with the harness, with the help of pro skydiver Wade Thoreson, who joined Rey in a tandem jump. It’s an adventure he has wanted to try for more than two decades.

“Like I say, I’m not a daredevil, nor haven’t been, but now since my condition started, I have lost all my inhibitions,” Rey said.

Rey received his final instructions after he headed to the plane.

“I need you to place both your feet when we get here, right where my feet are, so they go over top the step,” Thoreson of Victoria Skydivers said to Rey.

When all the final preparations were given to him, the only thing left to do is take flight.

“Calm and excited. Not nervous at all,” Rey said.

“Just ready to do it, looking forward to free falling.”

“I’m just ready to take him for a skydive man, this is awesome,” Thoreson said.

“Are you kidding me? This is what I live for. I’m just happy to help someone’s dreams come true.”

After nearly 45 minutes in the sky, Rey was set for his leap from 10,000 feet.

A 30-second free fall at 120 miles per hour (193 kilometres per hour) before the parachute comes out.

Then after a few minutes of gliding back to Earth, Rey and Thoreson got set for the touchdown.

With goal two now in the books, Rey’s next dream is a trip to Israel.

Andy NealAndy Neal

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