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Cancer Survivor Also Survives Skydive That Went Awry

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PLANO (CBSDFW.COM) - A North Texas skydiver is learning to walk again after hitting the ground going 60 miles per hour.

Cody Swenson is a skydiving instructor who's made more than 1,700 jumps.  At times it can seem routine.

"It's actually a pretty safe sport.  Safe-ish as we like to say," says Swenson.

In February, Swenson, who'd been out with the flu for days, was eager to get back in the sky.

"I should have taken my time," Swenson says. "I went a little too big on the first jump."

His parachute deployed as designed and he was headed for a landing when he hit the ground.  Hard!

"I bounced," remembers Swenson.

The 25-year-old snapped his right femur in half.  His left femur into three pieces along with his pelvis.

"The first thing I remember saying after I came to a complete stop is I'm going to need a CareFlite," says Swenson.

Swenson says he never panicked.  He knew he was seriously hurt but he also knew he was a survivor.  When Swenson was 17 he was a junior football player at Wakeland High School in Frisco.  He suffered what he thought was a "routine" injury.  The x-ray showed it was much more than that.

"It was cancer," says Swenson.  "Yah, I pretty much thought this kind of sucks. It's not going to be fun."

Nine rounds of chemotherapy and a spine surgery later, Swenson was okay.  Something he remembered that day at 13,000 feet.

"You got to keep on keeping on. Life's a wave.  You got to ride it," says Swenson.

It will be months before Swenson can even put weight on his legs, let alone walk again. However, he already has his sight set on a higher goal.

"I will jump again, oh definitely," he said.

And why not, Swenson is a survivor.

Friends have set up a GoFundMe account to help with Swenson's medical expenses.

Swenson said he is very thankful for the support he has received. He provided CBS 11 News with the following statement:

I want to thank the owners of Skydive Dallas for having such an excellent operation and place to jump. As well as allowing me to grow and succeed there.
I also want to thank my family, and the rest of my Skydive Dallas family for being there for me and not treating me any different! I do not know what I would do without you guys!

(Copyrights of skydiving video belong to Cody Swenson

(©2016 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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