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The White Plains (NY) High School Girls Swimming and Diving Team showed support for rare disease patients by conducting a Swim-A-Thon fundraiser.

The White Plains (NY) High School Girls Swimming and Diving Team showed its support for rare disease patients recently by conducting a Swim-A-Thon fundraiser and donating the proceeds to NORD.

“Every year, for our Swim-A-Thon, we choose a worthy organization,” said the 16-year old team captain Nina Feldman.  “This year, based on my recommendation, we decided to raise money for NORD.”

Nina became acquainted with NORD because the organization connected her with a rare-disease medical expert who served as a mentor for a project she was doing for an advanced research science program at her school.  The project was for a class taught by a White Plains science teacher.  The goal of the program is to familiarize outstanding science students with the scientific process and encourage them to consider careers in science.

Since NORD’s mission includes encouraging bright young students to explore careers related to rare diseases, the science teacher reached out to NORD for help in finding an appropriate medical expert.

As a result, the 55 members of the swim team, at Nina's suggestion, selected NORD as the charity to benefit from their annual Swim-A-Thon for 2012.  Each team member sought sponsors to make donations in support of the project.

As with all unrestricted donations to NORD, the money will go directly to programs and services in support of rare disease patients and their families.  These include educational programs for patients and medical professionals, increasing public awareness of the challenges of living with a rare disease, and maintaining an information service that newly diagnosed individuals can call to speak with an RN or a genetic counselor.

“People sometimes assume NORD receives government funding, but that isn’t the case,” says President and CEO Peter L. Saltonstall.  “Unrestricted donations from individuals or groups are very important to NORD and make it possible for us to provide services directly to patients and their families.”

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