Thursday, December 18, 2014

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NYer Of The Week: Angelina Romero Raises Money To Fight Mom's Macular Degeneration

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You are never too young to lend a helping hand, and this week's New Yorker is a perfect example, as she used her classroom connections to raise money for a cause close to home. NY1's John Schiumo filed the following report.

For as long as she can remember, 11-year-old Angelina Romero knew her mom's sight was deteriorating.

"I remember a few times, they mentioned to us, 'You know, mommy cant really see anymore, so you guys just kind of have to help her with things around the house," Angelina says.

Angelina's mom, Yvonne, has macular degeneration, an eye disease that results in vision loss due to damage of the retina. While the causes and treatments are varied, a cure is still unknown.

"I lost vision in my right eye in 2009, and two years ago, I lost most of the vision in my left eye," Yvonne says. "It's been a big adjustment. As far as just my daily routine, I'm still able to do things that I've always done. I just need more assistance in things."

"I think that this year, it kind of hit me that I need to do something about this," Angelina says. "I want do something by myself. I want to show people that I can do it."

Keeping it a secret from her family, Angelina set a goal to raise $1,000 for the Foundation Fighting Blindness through its annual Vision Walk. She called on her classmates for support.

"When Angelina went into the classrooms and she told her story, the students were first, you know, 'What is she talking about?'" says Karen Stevenson, assistant principal at M.S. 577. "But when she went into great detail about her mom and how it affects her and how it affects her family, the students were able to stop and really hear what she was saying."

Angelina's plan worked. She exceeded her goal and decided to reveal her efforts to her parents.

"I went running to the nearest phone, and I was already crying," she says. "When I called up my mom, she just started crying along with me."

"I couldn't be more proud of her," Yvonne says. "As a parent, you try so hard to try to shelter them from things that just you yourself as an adult are trying to deal with. But she's amazing."

We agree, and that's why Angelina Romero is our New Yorker of the Week.

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