Local chief takes polar plunge to help save little girl

A lot of locals are taking the plunge to help raise money for a 5-year-old girl in Harlem to get the surgery she desperately needs.

MGN Online

News 12 at 6 o' clock/ March 27, 2014

AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW) -- You've probably heard of taking the polar plunge, when you jump into ice cold water for 'fun.' But, a lot of locals are taking the plunge to help raise money for a 5-year-old girl in Harlem to get the surgery she desperately needs.

Addie Busby, like a lot of 5-year-olds, loves the color pink, and her favorite Disney princess is Cinderella. But unlike a lot of kids her age, she is facing a very serious surgery.

"They actually remove part of the skull so they can make room down there so that compression on the spinal cord is relieved," her dad, Nick Busby said.

She has a rare condition called Chiari Malformation that puts a lot of pressure on her spinal cord and causes her to have seizures which she says feels funny.

"If she fell or something in the wrong way, it could be fatal," her dad said.

The surgery could cost hundreds of thousands of dollars, so the Harlem community has stepped in to help. Teachers at Euchee Creek Elementary started a polar plunge fundraiser, posting 'call outs' on Facebook to challenge people to take the plunge.

"They were challenging people, if you jump you can donate $10, but if you don't, it's a $20 donation," Nick said.

It wasn't too long until Chief Gary Jones of Harlem Public Safety got the call out, and his response was clear. "I said I'm not jumping in no cold water."

But, he changed his mind when he heard Addy's story. He posted the challenge to raise $250 dollars on Facebook for Addy's Army. He said he would take the plunge if he could reach that goal. Facebook friends helped him surpass that number, raising more than $1,000 for the cause, and sending Chief Jones into icy water on Thursday.

In the spirit of the polar plunge, the challenges continue.

Now that he's taken the dive, Chief Jones has called out Columbia County Sheriff Clay Whittle, Richmond County Sheriff Richard Roundtree, Chief Gary Owens of Grovetown Public Safety, Richmond County BOE Chief Alfonzo Williams, and Columbia County School Safety Director Lance Poss.

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