Wanted: A bunch of people to plunge themselves into ice cold water for a good cause.

The hunt is on for people to take part in the annual Heart Stopper Challenge, a fundraiser for the local branch of Heart Kids.

Rotorua Heart Kids chairwoman Juanita Himona said eight teams took part last year, but this year the goal was for at least 20 teams to take the dunk. Her family will be taking part of the fifth time, something spurred on after her son Te Wiroa was diagnosed with a hole in the heart at 10 days old.

He was just 6 weeks old when he had open heart surgery.

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She said it wasn't just about raising funds but the act of dipping for five minutes helped mimic what a child went through when having surgery.

During open heart surgery a child's chest cavity can be filled with an icy slush to slow the heart's oxygen requirement and give the surgeon a longer window of operating time.

Ms Himona said this year they were looking at getting more high schools and intermediates involved, to try and raise awareness of the connection between rheumatic fever and heart problems.

She said teams could be made up of four to six people who together spend five minutes in the chilled pool.

The challenge will take place on July 3 between 11am and 2pm at the Rotorua Aquatic Centre.

To register go the Heart Kids Rotorua page on Facebook or register online at www.heartstopper.org.nz.

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ROTORUA DAILY POST
20 May, 2016 10:40am
2 minutes to read