BALTIMORE (WJZ)— From golf tournaments to sit down dinners, those trying to raise money for a good cause often travel a predictable path.

Now, as Mike Schuh reports, the Kidney Foundation has hit upon a fun, high-stress way to keep donations pouring in: rappelling.

Baltimore has a pretty cool skyline. And over to the left: the Marriott Waterfront Hotel.

Want to walk over the edge and down its side? Then talk to Brigitte Sullivan.

The hardest part of rappelling? “Stepping over the edge,” Sullivan said. “You get that feeling of being on a very steep roller coaster.”

At that point, everything in your brain is telling you not to do it.

A hundred people will overcome that fear and rope 28 stories down the Baltimore Marriott Waterfront hotel in the fourth annual Rappel for Kidney Health on Saturday.

It may be safe, but it’s scary. Really scary.

The survival part of you understands we’re not built to fly–even if you’re connected to a rope or two.

Some people would never have the strength to do this. Others would do this once and say they’re scared. Sullivan is a repeat customer.

“I actually enjoy it. I enjoy that thrill, and I enjoy when I get to the bottom, the sense of accomplishment,” she said.

Money raised from the event goes to kidney research and helping individuals.

That’s a good thing considering the kidney health in the state. Marylanders are in the bottom 10 nationwide.

This remember-it-for-the-rest-of-your-life experience quickly raises money for the Kidney Foundation.

Dr. David Lesser was a top kidney surgeon at University of Maryland.

He’s making the drop.

“The National Kidney Foundation is really trying to raise that awareness, to get down in the community and say ‘Let’s talk about kidney health. Let’s talk about how we can catch early, treat people and prevent them from getting to the point where they need me,’” Lesser said.

This event starts Friday afternoon and runs through Saturday. Slots are still available. It costs $1,000 to go over the edge.

As part of our continuing community commitment, WJZ is a co sponsor of this event.

To sign up, click here.


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