2010-01-01 / Community

Get Ready To ‘Plunge’ For Cystic Fibrosis

By Nicholas Briano

Nearly 200 swimmers dared the frigid waters of the Atlantic Ocean for the “Take the Plunge for Cystic Fibrosis for Annie McMahon” last February. The tenth annual event is set to take place again this year on February 6. Nearly 200 swimmers dared the frigid waters of the Atlantic Ocean for the “Take the Plunge for Cystic Fibrosis for Annie McMahon” last February. The tenth annual event is set to take place again this year on February 6. The average water temperature in the first week of February is 34 degrees. That, however, won’t stop a group of swimmers who plan to take a plunge into the frigid winter Atlantic Ocean waters, but all for a noble cause.

The more than 200 participants that usually conquer the near-freezing waters raise money for cystic fibrosis. The tenth annual event, to be held on Sunday, February 6 at 1:00 p.m. is formally known as “Take the Plunge for Cystic Fibrosis for Annie McMahon.” After raising money for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation through sponsorship, the participants then take that plunge into the water.

Rockaway resident John McMahon, whose daughter has cystic fibrosis, is the co-founder of the event and donates 100 percent of the proceeds to the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation.

Swimmers at last year’s “Take the Plunge for Cystic Fibrosis for Annie McMahon.” Swimmers at last year’s “Take the Plunge for Cystic Fibrosis for Annie McMahon.” This year’s event will start at 1:00 p.m. at St. Camillus Church, located at 185 Beach 99 Street, where the participants and other supporters will meet in the gymnasium before lining up for a short parade to the ocean in preparation for the plunge.

Anyone who prefers to stay inside his or her warm jacket and out of the water, also known by the organizers as a “land lover,” could still participate in the day’s festivities and after party, which will include food, drinks, raffles and music by DJ James Tubridy for a $40 donation. More information can be found on the Internet at Rockawayplunge.com or by calling Claire Conti at 718-474-0749 or Jim Mullen at 718- 474-8062.

Cystic fibrosis is a rare genetic disease that is usually discovered in infancy. It affects various glands and results in secretion of thick mucus that blocks internal passages, including those of the lungs, causing respiratory infections. The pancreas is also affected when digestive enzymes fail and impair nutrition. More than 30,000 Americans are infected and 70,000 worldwide. Despite the consistent rise in life expectancy over the past 50 years, most cystic fibrosis patients only live to a median age of 37. There are approximately 1,000 new cases reported each year.

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