Mother-in-law jokes aside, I'm throwing mine out of a plane

June Kearsley prepares for her skydive
June Kearsley prepares for her skydive Dave Noonan

DARRYL Higgs wants it known that he has no grudges against his 77-year-old mother-in-law, even though he is paying to have her thrown out of a plane.

Mr Higgs has sponsored mother-in-law June Kearsley's tandem skydive, which she is doing to raise funds for motor neurone disease research.

The great-grandmother is jumping in honour of her daughter, and Darryl's wife, Suzanne who died from the disease in January 2012, five-and-a-half months after being diagnosed.

"She and I always said we were going to go tandem skydiving for my 75th birthday," Mrs Kearsley said.

"But then she started getting unwell.

"Motor neurone, for which there is no cure, affects 300 Queenslanders.

"It's a progressive disease. The muscles just waste away.

"You have a perfect mind and a useless body, and if you are an active person like Sue was, it is terribly frustrating."

June Kearsley and her son-in-law Darryl Higgs.
June Kearsley and her son-in-law Darryl Higgs. Dave Noonan

Mrs Kearsley hopes to raise at least $1000 before her September 1 jump.

"I've committed myself now. I'll just have to shut my eyes and go," she said. "I'm not nervous about it. Yet."

To donate visit


What is motor neurone disease?

  • Motor neurone disease is a neurological disorder which can affect anyone at any time.
  • The most common period is midlife, however it is increasingly affecting younger people, and can affect both men and women.
  • For a person being diagnosed, it could mean the progressive loss of the use of their limbs, their ability to speak, to swallow and to breathe, while their mind and senses usually remain intact.
  • The effects of the disease are rapid, debilitating and terminal.
  • Currently there is no known cause or cure.
  • See

Topics:  editors picks everyday hero motor neuron disease skydiving toowoomba

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