Rappel With A Cause: Jessica Kartalija Descends 300 Feet For Charity

BALTIMORE (WJZ) — What’s the craziest thing you’d do for a good cause? If you ask Jessica Kartalija, it’s going over the edge of a high-rise building downtown.

Mary Bubala reports Jessica’s challenge rises above the Inner Harbor.

She went over the ledge by herself but getting to the ground was all about teamwork.

There’s no way that I wouldn’t be there to support my WJZ partner before she rappelled down.

“I’m going to be down there waiting for you, cheering you on! I’m so proud of you,” I said to Jessica.

“Thank you! You have the helmet on too, though, so maybe you should come down with me!” said Jessica.

“No way!” I said.

It’s a high-stress, heart-stopping moment 300 feet above the ground at the Marriott Waterfront Hotel.

My co-anchor makes it over the ledge and the rappel for the National Kidney Foundation of Maryland begins.

In just five years, this attention-getting fundraiser has brought in hundreds of thousands of dollars for kidney disease, research and patient care.

In the U.S., one in three adults is at risk of developing kidney disease and each day, more than 10 Marylanders lose their life waiting for a transplant.

“Both of us have family members who are impacted by kidney disease and I think it’s a great cause and I think people need to be made aware of it and this is a great way to do that,” said Jessica.

“It’s a once in a lifetime opportunity to do something and make a big difference in the kidney community,” said Christie Vera of the National Kidney Foundation of Maryland.

Within minutes, Jessica is safely back on the ground.

We’re all so proud of her supporting a great cause.

More than 90 people rappelled down the Marriott Waterfront Hotel, including a 93-year-old woman.

Together, they raised more than $113,000 for the National Kidney Foundation of Maryland.

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