Cold water challenge raises money, spirits for Wisconsin family


Videos of brave Midwesterners jumping in cold lakes and frolicking in snowbanks are popping up on Facebook in support of an 18-month-old Hudson, Wisconsin, girl battling a rare form of cancer.

The videos are part of a cold water challenge, which is raising money for Danica Uetz, and boosting the spirits of the Uetz family, according to media reports.

When Danica was 15 months old, she was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia, a cancer of the blood and bone marrow, according to her fundraising website.

Since she was diagnosed, Danica has had five blood transfusions and intense chemotherapy, WCCO says. She will likely need more blood transfusions throughout her two-and-a-half-year treatment plan, the Hudson Star Observer says.

Since Danica's diagnosis, friends and neighbors have rallied behind them by dropping off groceries and diapers, WCCO says. Then last week, one family uploaded a video in which they challenged others to film their own cold water stunts and to donate to Danica's fundraising website.

Now, Danica's father says there are multiple videos uploaded every day, WCCO says, and the challenge has reached across the country and even to Africa.

Post by Jennifer Fravel.

“You’re doing something kind of crazy outside so it definitely attracts attention,” Rob Neuenschwander, a friend of the Uetz family, told WCCO.

The Uetz family watches every video and they are compiling all of them on a Facebook page so others can enjoy them, too.

The donations, which have come in from across the United States, go to help pay for Danica's medical bills.

As of Monday, the family was at $12,150 of their $25,000 goal.

On April 19, there is also a blood drive and spaghetti dinner planned in Danica's honor.

This isn't the first time a cold water challenge has been used to urge people to donate to charity. In the last few weeks, a 24-hour cold water charity challenge swept a Missouri community.

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