12th Annual Polar Plunge

January 1, 2025 at 12:00 pm Peekskill, NY
2025/01/01 12:00:00


This Is Me Foundation, Inc. is a 501c3 non-profit organization that raises awareness about alopecia while giving hope to any individual facing adversity.

Company Overview

Lauren & Caitlin Brady were each diagnosed with alopecia areata (an autoimmune disease that causes hair loss) while in high school. It was often a struggle to deal with, but they always remained as positive as they could- yet never spoke too publicly about it.

In January 2011, after watching Miss Delaware 2010, Kayla Martell, take her wig off on National TV and explain she would compete in the 2011 Miss America pageant wearing a wig, as she too had alopecia, Lauren & Caitlin knew they needed to do something to inspire others just as Kayla had done for them.

Just 3 weeks later, on February 12, 2011 “This Is Me” was born as a two and a half minute YouTube PSA. The video was created to not only raise awareness about alopecia, but to try and inspire anyone who faces any adversity.

In January 2012, the Brady sisters began giving scholarships as part of “This Is Me.” These college scholarships are awarded to local high school seniors enrolled in college who have displayed leadership skills while having faced adversity of any kind or helped others through adversity. The scholarships are presented in honor of their dear friends Ryan Risco & Cait Chivonne Polhill left this world far too soon, but forever instilled in them their support and friendship.

As of 2013, the ‘This Is Me Scholarship, Inspired by Ryan Risco & Cait Chivonne Polhill’ also offers scholarships nationally to graduating high school seniors in the United States enrolled in college who have/had alopecia.

Since the launch of the ‘This Is Me Foundation’ a total of 125 scholarships have been presented to those who have been a true inspiration to ‘This Is Me.’







In May of this year I was putting my 4 year old to bed and my 12 year old son, Casey walked in the room.

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Casey’s Story

My father and I both were diagnosed with alopecia when I was 13 years old. He found a small spot on his face and chalked it up to shaving too close. Then he got another on his face and

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Ashley’s Story

Alopecia Awareness is important to me because Alopecians are one of the most special kinds of people in the world.

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A Father’s Prospective



12/30/21 –  Polar Plunge Returns to River Saturday

3/1/21 –  Difference Makers: Peekskill sisters with alopecia hope to inspire and support others facing adversity

5/26/22 – Living with Alopecia: My Hair was Falling Out

1/1/2020 –  Peekskill Polar Plunge for scholarships

1/1/2019 –  Taking the ‘Polar Plunge’ in Peekskill

12/31/18 – Annual Peekskill Polar Plunge in Hudson New Year’s Day
The annual Polar Plunge to benefit the This Is Me Foundation will kick off 2019 at noon sharp New Year’s Day on the shore of the Hudson River at Riverfront Green in Peekskill.

1/18/17 – Taking the Plunge, for a Good Cause
On any New Year’s Day since 2013, if you happened to be at Riverfront Green in Peekskill, looking toward the Hudson River, you might think you hadn’t fully recovered from the prior evening’s festivities and were hallucinating.

1/7/18 – Record Participants Take the Plunge in Peekskill for a Good Cause

1/5/16 – ‘Polar Plunge’ in Peekskill raises over $15k for This is Me Foundation

1/1/16 – Polar Plunges in Peekskill
Swimmers spent New Year’s Day plunging into frigid water in both Rye and Peekskill on Friday to raise money for charity.

1/1/15 – Polar Plunge for This is Me Foundation

1/1/14 – Polar Plunge In Peekskill Supports This Is Me Foundation
More than 30 people are expected to brave the cold to jump in the Hudson River. The event begins at 1 p.m. at Riverfront Park in Peekskill. The event is open to the public.

7/1/13 – This Is Me Foundation recognizes students overcoming adversity
In 2012, the This is Me Foundation awarded its first college scholarships to two Peekskill High School graduating seniors

2013 – I’m an Everygirl… and I Have Alopecia
I remember feeling sad each day in high school when people—well actually even worse, friends—pointed out how easily you could see my scalp.

6/22/12 – Brady Sisters ‘This is Me Scholarships’ Inspired by Risco and Polhill.
Lauren and Caitlin Brady started a scholarship inspired by their friends, who helped them accept living with alopecia.

6/21/11 – Brady Sisters Create Hit Awareness Video, “This Is Me”
Peekskill’s Lauren and Caitlin Brady’s video to raise awareness for alopecia and to address the importance of self confidence and self appreciation earned almost 3,000 YouTube hits in one week.


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