Retired cop with multiple sclerosis lives his dream by skydiving

It’s not something you’d expect when you learn that medically retired Raleigh police officer A.J. Luedtke took a literal leap of faith out of a plane. But it happened, the latest chapter in the life of a man whose story we’ve reported before on ABC11.

He uses a wheelchair because of multiple sclerosis: “MS took my freedom away.”

We’ve shown you his past challenges, including the time when a hit-and run-driver damaged his wheelchair accessible van.

Retired Raleigh police officer battling MS gets surprise van, wheelchair

Now, after his tandem skydive with a member of the Army’s Golden Knights his wife Teresa said: “We really hope that by doing this it is inspiring people to — don’t give up on your dreams, your hopes, no matter what your abilities or disabilities are. Make it happen!”

She did that with help from a friend with contacts at Triangle Skydiving.

“I asked him if there was a possibility that AJ would be able to. And as soon as I mentioned it to him, he ran with it! He made all the arrangements and everything. It was my thought and his planning,” she said. “I was very excited to see that he really enjoyed himself, and it really made me just jump for joy. Because I saw that the expression on his face was just priceless!”

His safe landing is not the end of AJ’s updated story. We asked if he’d do it again and he said, “Oh, absolutely!”

“He’s ready! He would have gone again yesterday, given the opportunity,” Teresa said. “Now we can mark this off of AJ’s bucket list, and I’m sure I’ve created an expensive habit for him now!”

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