'Plunge for Landon' Goes Viral; Thousands Dive Into Icy Waters for Baby With Cancer
byKaitlin StanfordApr 08, 2014
Right now, all over the country, people are walking up to the nearest water's edge and jumping in—freezing temps and all. They're not doing it because they love to swim in frigid, icy waters. They are doing it for one singular cause: to raise money—and hope—for a cancer-stricken 5-month-old from Montana, named Landon.
But to understand just why, you have to hear the full story.
It was in late February when Landon Shaw first began vomiting and losing weight. Frantic, his parents took him to Children's Mercy Hospital in Kansas City, where it was discovered that their 4-month-old had a tumor on his left kidney. Doctors removed it, only to report more terrible news: He also had a mass on his brain. A follow-up surgery to remove the mass proved life-threatening, when the little baby lost a dangerous amount of blood.
"The surgeons came into the room and said they would be surprised if he made it through the night," his mom, Alyssa Shaw, later told reporters.
But survive he did. And while he still has a very rough road ahead of him, filled with chemo, CT scans, and MRIs, he now has literally thousands of supporters behind him.
To date, the Plunge for Landon Facebook page has almost 28,000 likes—all from people who want to lend support for the Shaws and baby Landon in every way they can. They're posting messages of hope, sending in donations and best of all, taking videos of themselves "plunging" into icy waters in a show of solidarity.
The now-viral videos (which you can check out here) showcase people from all walks of life jumping into cold ponds, oceans, and lakes, and urging others to do the same. They are brothers and sisters jumping off of docks; they are soldiers who have just returned from overseas; they are U.S. Representatives. And, together, they have managed to raise an incredible $30,000 so far to help cover medical bills the Shaws have been unable to pay.
"I can't believe how viral this is going," said his mom. "My son has been such an inspiration to everybody and opened up people's eyes that you can't take life for granted."