DWTS 2019: Jett Kenny's Dancing For His Mate, "It's Close To Home For Me"
We spoke to 'Dancing With The Stars' babe Jett Kenny on his chosen charity and why it's so close to his heart.
We know that surf lifesaving is a hugely important part of Jett Kenny's life -- so when his friend and fellow SLSC competitor Jess Collins injured herself in a paddleboard accident in May 2018 -- which left her paralysed her from the neck down and living her as a quadriplegic -- he wanted to do something to help.
"Jess is one of my very good friends and is a very good competitive lifesaver -- She represented Australia and NSW multiple times," Jett explained to 10 daily.
"She was surfing at Snapper Rocks on the Gold Coast last year and fell off her board. She hit her head on the sandbank and, unfortunately, she broke her neck so now she's a recovering quadriplegic," he said.
The 24-year-old was left face down and paralysed in the water, where she remained conscious by using her lifeguarding knowledge to hold her breath.
Doctors soon found that accident resulted in the Jess breaking her C5 vertebra, which squashed the spinal cord and left her without feeling or movement below the shoulders.
"It was such a shock because obviously, she's a very good swimmer. It's just crazy how things like that happen to those kinds of people," Jett added.
She has since regained slight movement in her arms, however medical professionals have expressed their concerns that she may never regain movement in her legs.
Following the devastating injury, friends set up a campaign page called 'Sunflowers For Jess', which aims to help the lifesaver and her family with ongoing expenses relating to her rehabilitation and recovery.
"It's a matter of helping something that's close to home for me," Jett said when asked why he chose the charity in which to donate the $50,000 prize money if he wins Dancing With The Stars.
"I'm trying to help one of my mates out. I know where the money being raised is going to, so I definitely want to help them out as much as I can because it's such a difficult situation that she and her family are going through," he said.
"It's very unfortunate, but she's very determined to break free from being forever labelled a quadriplegic, and she wants to try to walk again, so to get any help towards helping her achieve that would be a huge help."
Dancing With The Stars airs 7.30 Monday on 10 and 10 play.