Edmonton man shaves his beard while skydiving to raise money for Ovarian Cancer Canada
Stan Standing’s Story
August 6, 2017
When the time came for Stan Standing to shave his majestic beard before starting a new job, he wasn’t going to do it without making a statement. Having recently lost his Aunt, a woman with “adventure in her soul” to ovarian cancer, he was inspired to honour her by raising money for Ovarian Cancer Canada.
But this wasn’t a simple fundraiser – or a simple shave. Stan aimed to attract attention for the cause by filming a video of him shaving his beard in mid-air after jumping out of an airplane at 10,000 feet. He started a GoFundMe campaign to raise $5,000, promising donors he’d share a video of the event once he’d reached his goal.
Stan Standing, or “Stanimal” as his friends call him, is known for his fun-loving, adventurous spirit. He started a GoFundMe campaign to raise money in honour of his late Aunt Lynn Standing-Whiten who died a year ago of ovarian cancer, promising to shave his beard while skydiving.
“I could think of no better way to honour and tribute my Aunt Lynn in the spirit of adventure than by shaving my beard while falling towards the Earth at over 120 miles per hour,” he says.
Stan’s Aunt Lynn Standing-Whiten died a year ago of ovarian cancer. “She had been fighting for five years and we were planning a big family reunion around this time last year,” he says. “Unfortunately she never made it. The family reunion sadly turned into her funeral. This year I was unable to make the trip to Whitehorse for her celebration of life in August, but still wanted to be able to show my love and support for my family.
Stan Standing’s cousin Darcy and Uncle Roy sit on a bench on a nature trail in Marsh Lake, Yukon dedicated to his late Aunt Lynn Standing-Whiten.
Stan remembers her as an inspiration, not only to him, but to everyone who met her. As one of the first female electricians to work in the Northwest Territories and the Yukon, she was a trailblazer. “She was such an outstanding woman. So loving and always passionate about life,” he says. “One of my favourite pictures is of her hang gliding through a valley with mountains in the background and a huge smile on her face. She always encouraged me to go after my goals and to turn my dreams into realities.”
Stan also seems to have adventure in his heart. Before he tried skydiving, one of his favourite hobbies was dirt biking, including a trip across the Sahara desert. “A lot of my friends had kids … That’s when I sold my bike and decided to start jumping out of planes,” he says. “I’ve always had a fascination with the clouds and the sky.”
Stan says skydiving is something everyone should experience. “The anticipation of your first tandem jump is surreal. … When the door opens and you look down there is a mix of fear and excitement coursing through your veins. It gets very real at that moment,” he says. “But literally the fear stays in the plane and you’re left with this feeling of excitement and you feel like Peter Pan flying through the air. Once the [para]chute deploys and its calm and quiet there’s this beautiful sense of bliss and the best view you’ve ever seen in your life. It’s one of the coolest feelings in the world.”
To film his sky-dive shave, Stan strapped a GoPro camera onto his chest. Jump master Lyal Wadden at Skydive Eden North also helped film Stan during the skydive. “I’m also singing a song while I’m doing this, but don’t want to give away the surprise,” Stan says. There is a teaser video, but supporters will have to wait until Stan reaches his $5,000 fundraising goal to find out what the experience looked like, and what song he was singing at the time.
He’s asking for a $1 donation and for followers to share the video to help keep his Aunt’s memory alive. For those who donate more than $100 he’ll also create an original piece of spray paint art – another one of his hobbies.
Stan has signed up for the Ovarian Cancer Canada Walk of Hope with his team Shave Cancer 10000ft to continue to raise awareness and money to overcome this disease. “Life’s beautiful, and meant to be lived in the moment. That’s the way I live my life. You never know when those moments might turn into memories,” Stan says.In Canada, 2,800 women are diagnosed with ovarian cancer every year, and 56% of those do not survive five years past their diagnosis. The Ovarian Cancer Canada Walk of Hope is happening September 10 at Kinsmen Park in Edmonton, and in more than 35 communities across the country. It is the only Walk in Canada to direct all attention and fundraising towards overcoming ovarian cancer. This year join Stan and his team, Shave Cancer 10000ft. Register or donate today.