BUCKLE UP: Nerves are flying for Louvaro Kerwin who was moments away from taking off for her jump with Mackay Skydive chief instructor Lloyd Cofield (right) and pilot Gavin Norsworthy.
BUCKLE UP: Nerves are flying for Louvaro Kerwin who was moments away from taking off for her jump with Mackay Skydive chief instructor Lloyd Cofield (right) and pilot Gavin Norsworthy. Louise Starkey

Leap of faith as Lulu ticks an item off her bucket list

AS Louvaro Kerwin jumped from a plane, her breath was taken away - quite literally.

The 11-year-old, known as "Lulu", was lost for words when she tried to describe the gut-dropping experience.

She lunged at the chance to tick a "bucket list" box, even though her first skydive made her feel "sick".

"I felt like I was going to vomit," Lulu said. "I was scared when we were about to jump.

"We couldn't see past the clouds."

Mum Charmaine Bleakley said she held no doubt of the youngster taking home another win.

The para-athlete has scored a total of 22 medals in 100 and 200 metre sprints, discus throwing and long jump in the past year, despite her condition.

Lulu was diagnosed with degeneration of her retinitis pigmentosa, which was the breakdown of her photoreceptor cells in the retina.

Lulu will lose her vision in time, Ms Bleakley said.

She noticed Lulu had become quite "clumsy" last year and discovered the diagnoses after seeing an eye specialist.

"It was a bit of a shock," Ms Bleakley said. "She has a lot of pigmentation in the back of the eye and has no peripheral vision.

"She never complained... she just thought that was just how everyone else saw as well.

"She used to do modelling and I never understood why she didn't like walking along the catwalk until we knew.

"It was quite dark for her."

However, the diagnosis has lead to tunnel-vision of determination.

Ms Bleakley and her husband, Zac, are set to tick every box off Lulu's bucket list.

"We've started a bucket list of what she would like to see," Ms Bleakley said. "There is no time limit on how long she has left.

"It could be tomorrow, it could be in a few weeks, or it could even be years.

"We want her to see the world."



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