Dozens take the plunge to help cancer patient

Kansas City, Missouri -

A north-west Missouri community is rallying behind the family of a five-month-old boy whose cancer battle has inspired thousands to jump into cold bodies of water - from local farm ponds to the Gulf of Mexico and even the Potomac River in Washington.

The Potomac river in the Georgetown neighbourhood of Washington. Picture: Nicholas Kamm. Credit: AFP

Landon Shaw, of Tarkio, Missouri, was diagnosed in February with a rare form of cancer and has undergone four surgeries to remove tumours from his kidneys and brain.

The infant's mother says doctors didn't expect him to survive, but he gained strength and was able to come home on April 1.

Participants record their plunges and post them on Facebook, along with challenges to three others and a pledge of money for each who completes it.

As of Friday evening, more than $30 000 in donations had come in. - Sapa-AP