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Man skydives naked while playing violin for 30th birthday

By Daniel Uria
Man skydives naked while playing violin for 30th birthday
Australian musician Glen Donnelly spent his 30th birthday skydiving from an airplane while playing a violin to raise funds for charities promoting male body image. Photo by Glen Donnelly/GoFundMe

Aug. 29 (UPI) -- An Australian man celebrated his 30th birthday by skydiving naked while playing a violin to promote male body image.

Musician Glen Donnelly leapt from a plane over New South Wales on Sunday, in hopes of raising a total of $15,000 for a trio of charities related to mental health and body image.

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"I'm being a real man by sharing the struggles that have plagued my life for ten years, of how at age 18 after one comment from a fellow musician about my 'tubby' belly I started silently sucking it in 24/7, creating a mental and physical prison in my body that would lead to a breakdown in 2013 quitting a successful career playing in the London Symphony Orchestra," Donnely wrote on the GoFundMe page.

Donnelly completed the tandem jump wearing nothing but a harness as he played "Happy Birthday" for himself on the $50 violin as well as "The Lark Ascending" by English composer Ralph Vaughan Williams.

"It's this beautiful piece about a bird soaring in the air, and it was just perfect," he said. "I played the opening cadenza for about a minute, where you're just slowly rising on the violin and it was just wonderful."

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Donnelly compared his nerves prior to the nude skydiving stunt to the anxiety he felt dealing with his body dysmorphic disorder.

"I felt as much fear and anxiety before the sky jump as I feel when I take off my clothes in front of other people - these jolts of fear and anxiety that I'm still working through," he said. "I'm really proud of myself for completing the fall and for walking through that door of fear."

In the two days following Donnelly's jump he was able to raise nearly $3,500 of his $15,000 goal.

The $15,000 total will be split between The Butterfly Foundation, The ManKind Project and Connelly's own charity Nude Movement.

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