Jumping at chance to help
HILTON resident Aishling Ni Bhrionn says her brother John Byrne, who died last year as a result of epilepsy, is the only man she’d jump out of a plane for.
On April 1, 40 jumpers from around the world will leap from a plane to raise money for epilepsy.
Ireland-born Ms Ni Bhrionn said the passing of her brother was completely unexpected.
“He passed away in his sleep from SUDEP (sudden unexpected death in epilepsy),” she said.
“Most people don’t really know anything about epilepsy or know what to do if someone has a seizure.
“A lot of people think someone passes away from epilepsy if they fall and hit their head or swallow their tongue, which is not always the case.
“It was really difficult and a horrible time for our family; he had been unwell since he was a little boy.
“He had a brain tumour and had lots of surgeries but he always came out the other end amazing.
“He never let his surgeries or epilepsy affect how he lived his life. He was such a light and inspiration.”
To celebrate her brother’s life, Ms Ni Bhrionn said her family decided to do something different.
“I flew home the day after I heard and our whole family rallied together,” she said.
“We invited everyone he knew to celebrate him and it was such a beautiful experience. I never knew what people got from that until my family did that.
“We really wanted to do something to keep his legacy, which is where the idea for a fundraiser came from.”
‘Jump for John’ will raise money for epilepsy foundations including WA Epilepsy.
Ms Ni Bhrionn said there had been a lot of support in the community, especially from the South Fremantle markets.
“It was only meant to be a small thing but then so many people jumped on board,” she said.
Aishling Ni Bhrionn, Fiona Main and Rachel Southern are doing their bit to support WA Epilepsy.