Over $7,000 was raised by an East Cooper Center for Academic Studies student for research on Bardet-Biedl syndrome, a genetic disorder that can cause kidney failure, retinal degeneration, polydactyly and obesity.
Emma Nodine, a student at East Cooper CAS and member of Health Occupation Students of America – Future Health Professionals (HOSA), spearheaded a fundraising walk in April as part of a project for her capstone course for the Project Lead the Way (PLTW) Biomedical Sciences program. The event raised $7,582.
Nodine’s idea came about after meeting a child afflicted by Bardet-Biedel Syndrome.
“I’ve known I wanted to do my project on Bardet-Biedl Syndrome for a while,” said Nodine. “I have always been fascinated to learn about the condition and I am very passionate about it since I have close family friends who are affected by it. I have witnessed this individual’s incredible growth and accomplishments first-hand.”
According to Nodine, the hardest part of the fundraiser was organizing everything to prepare for the permit.
“The process is pretty lengthy and included going door-to-door to every house that would be affected by the walk to obtain signatures of permission,” said Nodine. “It all ended up being incredibly worthwhile in the end. The fundraiser also allowed me to be involved in the health science field outside of the classroom while being surrounded by others as passionate about the topic.”
Students have the opportunity to work on an independent project with a mentor or advisor from a university, hospital, research institution, or the biomedical industry. A great deal of time and effort go into these projects and Nodine wanted her project to be one with a positive impact.
“As Emma’s HOSA advisor this year, I have seen her change lives right in front of my eyes,” said Katie Parker, an instructor in the pre-medicine academy. “I knew she could accomplish anything the day I met her. When Emma first introduced me to her capstone project topic, I fell in love with it. I lent a hand in any way that I could, but Emma had everything beautifully organized including all necessary logistics. She did an outstanding job and it gives me chills knowing she is in high school making a world of difference and she still has her whole life ahead of her.”
Parker added that when Nodine joined HOSA she immediately took an interest.
“This propelled her into a leadership position,” said Parker. “She has collaborated on all the club projects and drives, competed in prepared speaking on the state level, and will join us at internationals in Nashville this summer.”