BALDWIN,Wis. — After two-and-a-half years of check-ups, surgeries and cancer treatments, Brian Nagle's doctors have told him there's nothing else they can do.
So he jumped. The tandem skydive with a trained instructor was the last item on Nagle's bucket list.
"They have run out of options for me," said Nagle, who recently began hospice care. "I'm ready. I think I'm more ready than my kids and my wife and my family."
Already the Blaine, Minn., man had jet skied and rode on a motorcycle, held his first grandchild and walked his daughter down the aisle at a wedding moved up six months for fear he would not live long enough to attend.
"He was actually set to do this a couple years ago," said Sue Nagle as she waited for her husband to suit up at the Baldwin location of Skydive Twin Cities.
Nagle's skydive plans were delayed, first by a surgery and then by his doctor's concern that blood thinners used as part of his treatment could leave him vulnerable to bleeding in a rough landing.
Those concerns became moot when he entered hospice. Now was the time, his doctor told him, while he could still do it.
Nagle was 49 when abdominal pain told him something was wrong. Misdiagnosed as an ulcer, his colon cancer had two more months to spread before Nagle learned the truth.
Now the cancer is spreading though his 51-year-old body and his liver is beginning to shut down.
"Some doctors have said a couple months, some have said a couple weeks," said Katie Popp, Nagle's daughter. "That was hard to hear."
Nagle had planned to skydive with both his daughters, Katie and Nicole Schuman, but when word got out on Facebook, two dozen friends and extended family members signed up to jump with him. Several dozen more supporters came to watch and cheer.
"You don't realize it until something like this happens how many people are out there, ready to just help you fight," said Nagle.
So out the airplane door he went, harnessed to Kerry McCauley, the owner of Skydive Twin Cities.
Nagle smiled broadly as he free-fell at 120 miles an hour. He was ready for this trip — and he says he's ready for the one to come.
"I believe in heaven, I believe there is a place I'm going to go that's going to be a better place and I'm going to see people that have passed before me," he said from ground after his jump.