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Michelle vs. polar bear plunge for charity

Taking the plunge to #EndKidsCancer


Michelle Mackey
Weather Broadcaster

Monday, February 16, 2015, 2:41 PM - I’ve done some pretty crazy things in my life: ran a half marathon, bungee jumped from one of the world’s highest jumps, and worked the field during Australia’s Cyclone Oswald in 2013. 

However, there is one thing I never thought I would do, a polar bear dip. Who knew that all it would take was some encouragement from my colleagues and a good cause, and I ‘d be more than willing!

This Family Day participated in the Sears Great Canadian Chill and yes, I took the plunge. The annual event takes place in the heart of Toronto to raise money for the fight against childhood cancer. 

Hundreds of “Chillers” braved the harsh February climate to jump into a custom built Chill pool in Yonge-Dundas Square.

The money raised supports the Sears Canada Charitable Foundation.  Proceeds will be directed to the Sears Cancer Clinic at The Hospital for Sick Children and the Sears Childhood Cancer Fellowship. 

I’ll be honest, I was very nervous. I have another confession, this is the first Canadian winter I’ve experienced in three years! I lived in Australia while I was studying journalism and working as a journalist from 2012-2014. Cold weather in Australia is anything less than 20 degrees Celsius. 

I hate to admit it, but I have definitely complained of “cold” 15 degree weather in the short Aussie winter. 

This winter has certainly reminded me how hearty we Canadians are, though my biggest snap back to Canadian reality will be the polar bear dip, but it will be worth every second.

My grandmother died far too young from lung cancer. A 14-year-old classmate was taken in high school. It’s a cruel disease that touches us all. 

"Many of us have a friend or family member who has been affected by cancer, and while Sick Kids has led outstanding progress in childhood cancer, there is still a lot of work to do," said Seanna Dempsey, Vice President of Corporate Partnerships for SickKids Foundation. "We are grateful to Sears Canada for its continued support as it allows us to continue providing world-leading care to our patients and their families."

The Sears Great Canadian Chill isn’t about the bravery of the Chillers, it’s about the bravest fighters of all: Children fighting cancer.

To participate, donate and find out more visit the Great Canadian Chill website.

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