Jennifer Newell was shaking from nerves approaching the icy water, so her daughter Hailey Newell knew she had to be the one to stay calm.
As the two stood in shorts and purple T-shirts on a frozen portion of Berean Lake, about to take a plunge into a cut-out section, they wrapped their arms around each other and delayed the inevitable. Hailey Newell, 17, would count upward to three on her fingers to try to get her 52-year-old mother to take the leap, but mom kept making her start over.
The two had wanted to take part in the Subzero Heroes event benefiting the Alzheimer’s Association to honor their family’s late grandfather, Ron Newell, who died from the disease in February 2015, according to the Poughskeepie Journal.
After counting up to three “probably like five times,” Hailey Newell said, she and her mother held hands and leapt in.
“I couldn’t really feel my legs,” she said of the moment she got into the icy water. “...I jumped for my grandpa. It’s like I’m doing something in his memory; I’m doing something for other people to hopefully help researchers find a cure, help them find reasons this disease happens.”
“It’s a horrible disease,” Jennifer Newell said. “Just to watch someone who is so capable of doing so many things and then it’s just like you don’t even recognize them.”
The two were part of a group of participants on Saturday afternoon who had raised close to $100,000 in the lead-up to the event to help the Alzheimer’s Association look for a cure and treat those with the illness.
Dive into the full story at the Poughskeepie Journal.