Community takes plunge on New Year's Day to help Rathdrum girl

Lots of people braved the frigid temperatures on Monday morning, plunging into the lake for good causes in the Inland Northwest.

In Hayden Lake, a group of people took the plunge to help a little girl as a part of the Punk Rock Plunge.

Harper, 4, has an extremely rare syndrome called ROHHAD, with only approximately 100 confirmed cases worldwide. Her mother, Chelsea Pursley, says diagnosing it is difficult since it is a collection of conditions affecting different parts of the body. It causes previously healthy children to gain weight, have breathing difficulties, and other problems.

Harper was diagnosed in October.

“We were life-flighted to Seattle Children’s Hospital after we went into her bedroom because she was seizing,” Chelsea says.

The reason was because ROHHAD caused her brain to send the wrong signals, so she wasn’t breathing properly while sleeping. They make multiple trips a year to go to Seattle for doctor’s appointments to help her. Chelsea says her main goal is to give her daughter the best life she can have.

That’s where Punk Rock Plunge comes in. They raised money on New Year’s Day to help with those rising costs. The organization has been raising money for the last five years for different causes, all to give back to the community, and it’s grown each year. Seeing this, “it’s awesome,” Chelsea says. “It’s really great.”

But because there is a concern that there are more children who have this syndrome, Chelsea just hopes that more people know about it so other kids who do have it can be helped too. 

To learn more about Harper's journey:

To learn more about how to donate and Punk Rock Plunge:

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