Muskegon teen has unique experience at rappelling fundraiser

Muskegon County

MUSKEGON, Mich. (WOOD) — Avery Lynn has been through a lot in her life — cancer, chemotherapy, numerous surgeries — but when she was offered the chance to rappel down the Highpoint Flats building in Muskegon, the 14-year-old jumped at the chance to try the unique activity. 

“It was cool looking at everything and everybody,” Lynn said about rappelling down the eight-story building.

Lynn was one of around 20 people who went down the building in the inaugural Over the Edge event held by the Muskegon Rescue Mission to benefit the less fortunate population. 

Sponsors paid $1,000 to rappel down the building. In Lynn’s case, her opportunity was provided by a group of local State Farm agents. Jake Kantola, one of the agents, accompanied Lynn down the building. 

“She was cool as a cucumber,” Kantola said. “She was smiling. Small talking really. Really not that bad going down here.”

More than $30,000 were raised in the inaugural event. 

“This very night we’ll have 60 people in our shelters,” said Melissa Boughner, the director of development at the Muskegon Rescue Mission. “These funds are going directly to provide for those families.”

The event provided shelter for the less fortunate and a unique thrill for Lynn. 

The 14-year-old has overcome many obstacles in her life. 

She was born with a rare condition in her legs. Doctors said she wouldn’t be able to walk. 

“We found a doctor out east, with surgeries and castings she started walking when she was 2-and-a-half,” said Greg Lynn, her father. 

At age four she was diagnosed with a rare inoperable cancer which was treated with chemotherapy and radiation. 

“She was able to overcome the cancer and now is nine years cancer free,” Greg Lynn said. 

His daughter has had more surgeries than birthdays. 

“She’s had over 20 surgeries,” he said. “Just eight weeks ago she had major surgery in Philadelphia. During the recovery she almost lost her foot.”

No matter what comes her way, Lynn maintains a positive attitude. 

“Just to overcome your fears,” she said.

Lynn received a warm welcome from people cheering her on once she made it all the way down. 

“I want to do it again,” Lynn said. 

Organizers of the event plan on hosting it again next year. They’re hoping more participants will take part in the event. 

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