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My Town Hero: 7-year-old raising funds to help ease friend's pain | Health

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My Town Hero: 7-year-old raising funds to help ease friend's pain
My Town Hero: 7-year-old raising funds to help ease friend's pain

Bethany and Anne Marie are two little girls with bubbly personalities and a bond like none other.

Anne Marie is a 9-year-old who suffers from a rare skin disorder called Epidermolysis Bullosa or ED, which causes her skin to blister in response to heat, movement, or friction. Bethany, 7, is trying to raise funds for a saltwater pool in an effort to ease Anne Marie’s pain.

Bethany has been making and selling rainbow loom bracelets to raise the $25,000 needed for the pool to be installed in Anne Marie’s back yard. So far, she has already brought in $14,000 in just nine weeks, with donations coming in from as far away as California.

"I felt a little sad, I was trying to figure out what to do for her,” explained Bethany. "I get happier and happier because we're getting closer to the pool."

Someone has graciously donated the pool and supplies to the family; however, they still need the extra funds to install it. A large hole has already been dug into Anne Marie’s backyard where the pool will be, and once completed, the covered pool will help build muscle and soothe Anne Marie's skin without the risk of infection.

"Currently in the summer Anne doesn't get to join in, in summer activities,” said her mother, Kandi. “It’s going to allow her to be a 9 year old girl and play with her brothers and sisters and friends in the summer."

Anne Marie’s and Bethany’s mother both sat down with THV 11 News to reflect on how far their daughters have come. They find it overwhelming to see how much the community has rallied behind their two young girls.

"I sit back and go, ‘WOW! God is using my kid in an amazing way!" reflected Bethany’s mother, Janet.

As part of Bethany’s fundraising efforts, a Shop for a Cause event was hosted Friday at Underground Exchange, which is one of many businesses stepping in to help out. Thirty percent of all the proceeds went to Bethany’s mission.

"It's been just phenomenal. We go through 20 or 30 [bracelets] a week,” said owner Sarah Clayton.

Janet said her daughter, Bethany, wants to become a teacher someday. Why? So she can help teach Anne Marie who doesn't attend school often because of her condition, but if there is one thing she's already taught us all, it's that we can make a difference in someone else's life even if it's one bracelet at time.

Keep track of the girls’ progress:

Bracelets by Bethany: http://on.kthv.com/1pzQV01

Spreading Anne's Wings - I SAW Hope: http://on.kthv.com/1rukv4y

THV11 was originally alerted to Bethany’s good deeds through our My Town Hero campaign by Rebecca Whitfield. Do you know someone in your community who goes above and beyond? Maybe they’re always helping people, or greets everyone with a smile. Perhaps they’ve beat unthinkable odds or have accomplished something exceptional.

We want to highlight them. To have your My Town Hero featured, email the following information to mytown@thv11.com:

  • Their name,
  • Their hometown,
  • Their contact information,
  • A photo of them, and
  • What makes them extra special

Include “My Town Hero” in the email subject line and we’ll take care of publishing it for you.