Media release from Nelson Tasman Tourism
Phoenix Takes Flight above Abel Tasman
Phoenix before he takes the leap!
Full size images and downloads available online
Nine year old Nelson cancer sufferer Phoenix Stafford had a dream come true this afternoon when he leapt from 15,000
feet above sea level in a tandem skydive with Abel Tasman Skydive. Phoenix was joined in his jump by celebrity chef
Aaron Carotta, who is in the region filming his show “Catch and Cook with Adventure Aaron”.
Phoenix, who has a cancerous tumour on his spine, was told by doctors earlier this month that radiation and chemotherapy
were having no effect and they could do no more for him. Family, friends and the local community have rallied to support
Phoenix in his battle against cancer by raising funds to finance alternative treatment options.
Skydiving has always been a dream of Phoenix’s and when Carotta and Nelson Tasman Tourism heard this they approached
Abel Tasman Skydive to make it happen. Carotta - who is in remission from cancer - found fame filming the travel
adventure series “Alive! With Aaron Carotta”, which focuses on Aarons' life after being diagnosed with cancer. He is
currently in the Nelson Tasman region filming for his hit show, ‘Catch and Cook’ which will be seen by over 120 million
viewers across the globe.
Aaron says, “The skydive was simply phenomenal and I was delighted to be able to share the experience with such a brave
guy like Phoenix. In my own fight against cancer I realised how important it is to celebrate being alive and to embrace
new challenges. I’d like to thank Abel Tasman Skydive for giving us this once in a lifetime opportunity.
Phoenix was equally ebullient, (although less outspoken) stating the jump was “Pretty awesome”. The look on his face was
enough for mum Renea Pidduck.
The filming for ‘Catch and Cook’ began in the Nelson Tasman region today and involves Aaron being challenged by local
chef and fishing guru Daryl Crimp - who has challenged Aaron to catch the ingredients for a true local feed. The show
will highlight the abundance of seafood available in the Nelson Tasman region as well as other unique local produce
including Neudorf mushrooms, Sprig and Fern beer and the delicious hospitality of Kay and Joe Waller at A Culinary