Nine-year-old Bethany Walker's fundraising efforts are proof that you're never too young to make a difference. In fact, that's her motto! Bethany hasn't even hit double digits yet, but she is already a remarkable fundraiser and an amazing friend.
Bethany is friends with Anne Marie Cox, a 10 year old who has epidermolysis bullosa (EB). The rare disease, also called "butterfly skin disease," makes Anne Marie's skin very fragile and susceptible to blistering and tearing. One of the few therapies available to children with EB, a therapeutic saltwater pool, is also an expensive one. Instead of being deterred by the large cost, Bethany was determined to find a way for the Cox family to get that pool. With the help of Bethany's parents, Bracelets by Bethany was born.
Bethany and her parents went to restaurants and businesses to drum up customers and support for her bracelets. They also created a Facebook page to reach a larger (international!) audience. In just 19 weeks, Bethany was able to raise $47,000, enough money so that Anne Marie's family could buy the therapeutic pool.
Once the pool was constructed, Bethany was able to accompany Anne Marie on her first-ever swim. Though the two regularly played together, they usually stayed indoors, so this was a very special playdate. Kandi Cox, Anne Marie's mom, says that the pool has helped her daughter feel like a regular girl. She calls the pool "life-changing."
Bethany may have reached her goal of getting Anne Marie a pool, but she's not done making a difference in families' lives. The talented kid is working hard to raise money for a family who lost their young son to cancer. Now that's dedication.
Bravo, Bethany, for showing kids and adults that it is possible to reach your goals though hard work and determination. You are an inspiration!
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Images courtesy of Bracelets by Bethany Facebook page.