Alex Cowan jumps from 13,500ft to help fight mul­ti­ple scle­ro­sis

The Jewish Chronicle - - People -

SHE MAY strug­gle to walk, but that has not stopped West Lon­doner Alex Cowan from want­ing to jump out of an air­craft. Ms Cowan suf­fers from the neu­ro­log­i­cal con­di­tion mul­ti­ple scle­ro­sis (MS) and uses a wheel­chair. On July 13, she plans to jump out of a plane fly­ing at 13,500 ft, fall for 40 sec­onds, reach about 120 mph, and then float to the ground with the aid of a para­chute.

“I needed a chal­lenge and wanted to do some­thing that would take me out of my com­fort zone,” Ms Cowan, who is in her early 40’s, tells Peo­ple. She was di­ag­nosed with MS 20 years ago but says the con­di­tion has got pro­gres­sively worse. “Some­times hav­ing MS can be hard and frus­trat­ing, so I needed to do some­thing ex­treme — some­thing scary that I had never dreamed off. I also wanted to give some­thing back that would ben­e­fit other peo­ple.”

She adds: “I don’t want MS to get the bet­ter of me.”

Ms Cowan, a mem­ber of the Lib­eral Jewish Syn­a­gogue, spends a lot of her time pro­mot­ing dis­abil­ity aware­ness and equal­ity. Chair of Jewish Care’s dis­abil­ity ser­vices con­sul­ta­tive group, she is ad­vis­ing the char­ity on in­clu­sive ac­cess and de­sign for its new Gold­ers Green de­vel­op­ment. She also per­forms in wheel­chair bur­lesque cabaret.

Is she ner­vous? “I’m re­ally ex­cited. I’d never wanted to do a para­chute jump be­fore, but when I was think­ing about what I could do, it just popped into my head.” Pro­ceeds will go to the MS Re­source Cen­tre and the MS So­ci­ety.

Ms Cowan lives in Green­ford with her hus­band, Lionel Roth.

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