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Raising money and awareness about organ donation
Michaela Hill is a senior at Broadalbin-Perth High School who organized a walk-a-thon type fundraiser Friday to raise money to help her 25-year-old brother pay his medical bills.
"He's my number one sibling to look up to," she says. "I love him so much."
Hills missed a fair amount of school last winter in order to be with her brother Ryan Pickering. He received a double lung transplant at the Mayor Clinic in Jacksonville, Florida. At age 4 he began to suffer symptoms from pulmonary fibrosis. The February phone call telling him it was time for the transplant came four days after he had told his mother he could feel himself running out of time.
"Simple things like rolling over in bed I couldn't do," says Pickering. "I was in rough shape."
The fundraiser was also meant to help in 13-year-old Anna King's wait for a heart transplant. She is originally from Mayfield but has moved to Florida to while she awaits a heart, somethig she has been doing for more than a year. Her grandmothers were at the high school Friday saying Anna's spirits are high.
"Anna made her own decision that she is going to face this head-on with optimism," says Joanne Pepe.
"It almost doesn't surprise us that she like this," says Suzanne Brundage, "because that's just how she is - how she's always been."
The other hope Friday was that more people would decide to become organ donors.