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MS no barrier to sheer thrill of freefall,7034,6347022%255E14787,00.html

28th April, 2003

Thea Moore descended to earth with a gentle thud yesterday but she says it'll be a while before the rest of her catches up.

Mrs Moore, a multiple sclerosis sufferer, took the massive plunge and went skydiving on The Strand for her 52nd birthday, which she will celebrate tomorrow.

Mrs Moore has had MS for 14 years and has been in a wheelchair for 12.

"She may not be able to walk but she can jump out of an aeroplane," her proud daughter Janine, 22, said.

"I'm so proud of her for doing it because there are a lot people who wouldn't get up there.

"This is more of a challenge for her because there are a lot of things she can't do."

Mrs Moore plummeted to earth at speeds up to 200 km/h from 2500m above Townsville yesterday as about 25 excited family and friends cheered her on.

She made her tandem jump with instructors from Coral Sea Skydiving.

"I totally loved it," Mrs Moore beemed shortly after descending, in between being smothered with congratulatory kisses from her family.

"A friend of mine did it and I saw the video and I said 'I'm going to have to go do that'."

And for family who couldn't make it to the happy spectacle -- including four of Mrs Moore's daughters, who live in Canberra -- they were briefed shortly after by mobile phone and sent their love too.

Copyright © 2003, The North Queensland Newspaper Company Limited