Year 8- I started doing the Polar Bear Plunge when I was 5 years old. Before Sutton was born, my Gpop use to do it every year and in 2010 my dad and I decided to join him. I remember it was snowing and my dad went all the way out in the water with me in his arms. He high fived the officers that were standing way out in the water, as far as you’re allowed to go. Fast forward 8 years- here I am trying to raise more than $30,000 for the Special Olympics. This has become a passion of mine that I am so fortunate to share with all of you. 3 months from now, we will be standing on the freezing cold red and orange sand at Sandy Point Park with 40 degrees water in front of us. I can’t wait for you all to feel the adrenaline that I have been feeling for 8 years right before you jump in the water!
Enough about me though. The reason I do this is for my 15-year-old sister Sutton. Sutton was born prematurely and had Group B Strep Meningitis when she was 8 weeks old. She was in the NICU for almost 8 weeks and after only 10 days home, contracted meningitis and returned to the hospital for another 7 weeks. She spent much of her first year at Johns Hopkins Hospital, where she has, unfortunately, had to return a lot this year as well. Through all of the trouble and surgeries that she has had this past year, she keeps the most positive attitude and the only thing she ever asks for is a occasional beanie bear, get well cards and cheese curls.
My sister is my best friend. She has the best attitude and never takes life for granted. My mom has always called her “our gift”, and I think she’s right. We are the luckiest people in the world to have a kind, gentle, and loving person like Sutton in our lives. Sutton is a miracle and a blessing to our family and friends. Raising money for the Special Olympics means so much to our family and we are so excited to share this experience with all of you.
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