Six-year-old raises over $85K for Angelman syndrome 1 bake sale at a time
Na’ama Uzan started selling treats in 2014 after her brother was diagnosed with the rare condition
This isn't your average lemonade stand.
A six-year-old girl on a mission to find a cure for a rare condition affecting her brother has raised more $85,000 and was fundraising in full force on International Angelman Day Monday.
Na'ama Uzan started selling treats outside her family's home in 2014 after her brother was diagnosed with a genetic disorder called Angelman syndrome, which can cause developmental disabilities and neurological problems including the inability to walk or speak.
Since then she's been invited to speak at an Angelman Syndrome conference in Chicago, where she raised an additional 360,000 dollars in support of a cure and isn't showing any signs of slowing down.
"We have cupcakes and muffins," she said at a Toronto bake sale Monday. "It's been going really, really, really, really well."
Raising funds, awareness and hope
Toronto firefighters and paramedics took to the ice at Monday's event to face off in a charity hockey game for the cause.
"I think it's just amazing," paramedic Michael Hull said. "It would be fantastic if more people in the communities could take initiatives and help out their communities in the same way."
Indeed, Na'ama has been so successful that the money she's raised has helped to hire a post-doctoral researcher working to find a cure for the condition, her family says.
"It's inspirational because this girl or this guy is going to be sitting there doing research everyday understanding that their salary is coming from a little girl standing on a curb selling lemonade at 50 cents a cup," Na'ama's mother Ru Uzan said.
But beyond awareness and funds, for families affected by Angelman syndrome, Monday's bake sale was also about hope.
"All we want is something better for our children and to know that she's working, a six year old girl is working to get a cure for my son so he can have a better life, there's nothing that breaks your heart. It's just so heart-warming," said Dal Vanhal who drove from Niagara Falls with her 13-year-old son P.J. to attend the event.
And the on-ice faceoff wasn't without meaning for Na'ama and her brother either.
"It's really... important because then he'll be able to talk, he'll be able to skate, and he'll maybe even be able to play hockey," Na'ama said.