SACRAMENTO (CBS13) – Plunging into ice-cold water sounds painful, but when you’re doing it for a good cause, it’s no big deal.

The 2nd Annual Polar Plunge helped raise money in hopes of changing one man’s life.

It was a 9 a.m. dip in the pool in February.

“It was cold,” said one jumper.

They call it freezing for a reason. The polar plunge is a way to raise money for Nick Rause.

“It was pretty rocky there for awhile, but my family and friends helped me pull through it,” said Nick.

In 2008, he became a quadriplegic. After a rope swing accident, Nick broke his neck in two places.

“I guess, when he let go of the rope he dove in head first in waist-deep water,” said Julienne Rause, Nick’s aunt.

Since then he’s faced many challenges, emotionally and physically,

“I think I enjoy life more since it almost ended,” Nick said.

After dealing with depression, he’s now in a better place.

“He’s a really great guy. He’s enrolled in college, kind of getting it together. I’m very happy for him,” said Julienne.

Still, there are obstacles he faces everyday. His mom has to lift him to transfer him from one place to another.

So, Sunday’s goal was to raise enough money to get him a lift.

“It runs on tracks on the ceiling of his house. It will lift him, reach under his legs, lift him out of bed and set him in his wheelchair,” said Julienne.

It also helps stimulate walking and in time will give him back some independence.

“It could get to the point where I can use the lift on my own, get in and out of bed on my own. That would be a big help,” said Nick.

He and his family also want to raise awareness about spinal cord injuries, and how common and fast they can happen.

“Simply jumping in a pool, running and slipping, playing a sport, it can happen very easily, very quickly,” said one family member.

For now Nick takes things a day at a time, focusing on what he can do instead of what he can’t.

“We still go wheeling, camping, fishing, and life still goes on. You got to enjoy what you got,” said Nick.

This year’s polar plunge raised $4,000. The goal is to raise $10,000 so that Nick can get the lift for his home.


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