Sun City Students Collect
“Change for Caroline”
Pennies, nickels, dimes and quarters can add up to make real change and that is what Sun City Elementary students are hoping.
Their first grade classmate, Caroline Bange, has Loeys-Dietz Syndrome, a genetic disorder that affects the connective tissue in the body. Closely associated with Marfan Syndrome, LDS first came to light in 2005, just a few years before Caroline was born. When she was diagnosed, only 150 individuals in the world were known to have it. Today, the number is closer to 2,000.
For two weeks, Sun City shone light on LDS and students collected “Change for Caroline,” to benefit the Loeys-Dietz Syndrome Foundation. The organization provides education, support and research. The Foundation is particularly focused on funding a genetic registry researchers can pull from.
“It’s been good for her,” Caroline’s mom, Jenny, said about the school’s efforts. “We try to teach her it’s a part of our everyday life. This gives her the opportunity to discuss it with her friends; to talk about her walker and hearing aids.”
People are becoming more familiar with LDS, thanks to the efforts of the Bange family. For the past six years, a walk is held each March called “Across the Finish Line for Caroline.” To date, more than $120,000 has been raised for the Foundation.
“Change For Caroline” is making a difference, too. Students at Sun City engaged in friendly competition, seeing which class could collect the most change. One by one, they poured jars of coins into a big bucket during an assembly as their classmates cheered. Caroline was beyond excited, watching it all.
“Awesome! Awesome! Awesome!” she squealed, as she jumped up and down.
Once it was all tallied, the amount was astounding -- $2,821.52.
Principal Kim Tuminello said she could not think of a better way to embrace Bossier Schools’ “Helping Hearts: The Power of We” community service initiative and help one of their own at the same time.
“The reason we call this ‘Change for Caroline’ is we want to change the life for Caroline with her disability and the lives of other children with this,” Tuminello explained to her young students. “Doesn’t it feel good to know we worked together to make a difference in someone’s life?”
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