Hi, my name is Ashley Giannetti and I am in eighth grade at Convent of the Sacred Heart Greenwich, CT. This year in our theology classes we were given a project where we had to choose an important topic to us and make a difference in the world. When I had to think of an important topic, Rett Syndrome automatically came up. When I told my teacher that I would like to base my project off of Rett Syndrome, she smiled and said that she was excited for me to work on my project because she had never heard of Rett Syndrome before. Rett Syndrome is an important cause to me because it directly affects my 19-year-old cousin Lauren Dore. Lauren was diagnosed with Rett Syndrome when she was about three years old. She is unable to speak, walk on her own, use her hands, or take care of herself in any way. She is trapped in her own body. Where most 19-year-old girls would be talking with their friends, Lauren cannot speak. Where most 19-year-old girls would be texting, Lauren has no control over her hands. Where most 19-year-old girls would be playing sports, Lauren cannot walk on her own. Lauren’s life is very different from those of other girls. This is why I chose Rett Syndrome as my topic. My project is an online fundraising campaign to help support the Rett Syndrome Research Trust. Growing up, I always wondered what Lauren was thinking. If she could speak, what would she say? I want to help Lauren and girls just like her to be able to speak and live regular lives.
I was so surprised when I found that so many people were willing to help me with my project. The Rett Syndrome Research Trust has been very open and kind about my fundraiser. They have been helping me in so many ways by promoting my fundraiser and giving me ideas on what else I could do to raise money and awareness for Rett Syndrome. Many fitness centers were very willing to host classes where the profits go to Rett Syndrome which was an amazing contribution to my fundraiser. But most of all, I was really impressed with the amount of donations I have received. In just about a week, I have raised $6,860! I never would have expected this! Thank you so much to everybody who donated to this cause, or tried to spread the word around.