Central Park Plunge: abseiling 220m was scary, but sick kids are much braver than I was

Community Newspaper Group digital editor David Johns sets off down the side of the Central Park building. Pictures: Andrew Ritchie.
David Johns gets kitted up.
Central Park Plunge: abseiling 220m was scary, but sick kids are much braver than I was
Brad, Dave and Dave learning the ropes.
Taking the first tentative steps over the edge.
The view from the top.
Dave, left, and Brad on the way down.
The view from the inside.
Dave and Brad enjoying the ride.
Moments before the second plunge.
Nearly home!
Community Newspaper Group digital editor David Johns sets off down the side of the Central Park building. Pictures: Andrew Ritchie. David Johns gets kitted up. Brad, Dave and Dave learning the ropes. Taking the first tentative steps over the edge. The view from the top. Dave, left, and Brad on the way down. The view from the inside. Dave and Brad enjoying the ride. Moments before the second plunge. Nearly home!

EVER wondered what it was like to abseil down a 50-storey building?

Nor had I, until last week.

Over three days from Friday, the Central Park building in Perth became the focal point for hundreds of people who dropped off the edge of Perth’s tallest building for charity.

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And so far, Ronald McDonald House has managed to raise more than $300,000 through their efforts.

The Nedlands-based charity provides a crucial service to families with sick children.

Country families can stay at Ronald McDonald House while their kids receive treatment, so that they do not have to travel back and forth between home and the city.

And for those who live nearby anyway, the charity provides a family room where sick kids and their families can relax.

With this in mind, when I was asked by the good people at Ronald McDonald House to abseil down Central Park to raise awareness I jumped – quite literally – at the chance.

I tried not to think about it too much in the lead-up, and when I found out I would be taking the plunge with two dads whose kids had leukaemia I knew what I needed to focus on to get through it.

The staff on the day were amazing – the men and women at Zenith Events have done this before, lots of times, and it showed.

I met Brad and Dave before we went up the top of the building.

Both of these guys had kids (Ava and Hunter) with leukaemia and despite the pain they must have gone through with their families, none of it showed in the way they went about things on Friday.

I am not going to lie – it was terrifying 220m up.

As we tipped down over the edge, completely trusting the ropes and the instructors, every fibre of my being screamed at me to stop, to back out, to call it quits.

But here is the thing – Ava and Hunter did not have that choice.

They did not get the chance to say no, to stop their treatment, to ‘back out’ of having leukaemia.

They are the real heroes and no matter how scared I was last week, I still was not anywhere near as brave as Ava, Hunter and their families have been.

Please donate to Ronald McDonald House by clicking here.