Plungers take on chilly waters to help former neighbors - KCTV5

Plungers take on chilly waters to help former neighbors

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LAKE WINNEBEGO, MO (KCTV) -

It is cold, and it has been that way for a while. The last thing anyone would want to do is jump into a freezing lake, but one group who did just that to help a family.

Wednesday was the eighth year for Freezin' for a Reason at Lake Winnebago. The ice was a little too thick this year, so the boats had to stay on the shore.  But four brave neighbors hopped in.

"Surprisingly, it is not as cold as I thought it was going to be. The part I thought was weird is how quickly my body shut down. I jumped in and was like, 'I got this.' Then I tried to jump out, and my legs went kick, kick, stop. I had to get pulled out," Daniel Skinner said.

Freezin' for a Reason is the annual fundraiser to help the Cox family. The three Cox children have a rare genetic condition.

"Initially it was classified as an inherited bone marrow failure syndrome. They've called it Schwachman-Diamond Syndrome. In essence, their bone marrow is going to fail, or has already, especially with my oldest," Chris Cox said.

The family moved from Missouri to North Carolina in 2006 to be closer to the doctors who continue to look for a cure. But Cox brings as much of his family back as he can every new year.

"Grace comes almost every year.  Sam has been coming for the last few years.  My wife is at home with the oldest, who is too sick to make the trip.  But it is important for me, no matter how long the drive is.  It is important for me to get the kids here so they can see the people behind them," Cox said.

Most years, it is an excuse to launch a boat or two and break out the skis.

"We've had too long of a stretch of cold weather. We have some ice where the boats would go in. There's just not room to pull skiers around," volunteer Jennifer Noone said.

But the ice didn't chill the donations.  With an auction and potluck lunch, along with the Polar Plunge, Freezin' for a Reason raised more than $8,000 for the Cox family.

"It is dear to a lot of people's hearts, just because they're a community family.  It just leads to a lot of costs, doctors, inpatient, outpatient and meds.  Everything just adds up," Noone said.

Grace Cox says there is no place she would rather celebrate 2014.

"It is amazing. Every year I'm just shocked how many people come out, how many bring food, ski, just show up and have fun," she said.

If you'd like to donate to Freezin' for a Reason, email freezinforareason@comcast.net or just send your check payable to:

Freezin' For A Reason
c/o Arvest Bank
360 SW M-150 Highway
Lee's Summit, MO 64082

You can also walk into any Arvest Bank and make a donation.

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