TRAVELERS REST, S.C. — In a collective effort to help raise awareness for brain cancer, a group of Travelers Rest firefighters rang in the new year by taking an icy stroll in the frigid waters of Paris Mountain State Park's Lake Placid.
Adorned with oversize bow ties, the five men took part in the fourth annual Polar Plunge, joining others in a family-friendly park fundraiser event that is usually about how fast you can get in and then out of the frigid water, which was about 43 degrees.
But when the race was on and other plungers hurriedly swam, splashed, jumped and ran, the five firefighters locked arms as a team, slowly stepping into the water. The men — with firefighter and Travelers Rest codes official David Odom in the center — swept the perimeter before making their way back to shore, where they were greeted with cheers from the crowd.
Odom was diagnosed with stage 3 brain cancer in January of 2013. At the time — nearly two years ago to the date — he was given 18 months to live.
Firefighters are also selling "Fighting for a Cure" t-shirts, helping to raise money for the department's Relay For Life team. The shirts (you can see them in the top video or click here) are $10 each (cash or check) and available in size L though XXL. T-shirts can be purchased at the station, located at 117 N. Poinsett Hwy.