In today’s world acts of charity seem to be rare. However, one little 10 year old girl can teach us all a lesson in heroism and charity. It is unusual to see such a spirit of giving in one so young, but in spite of all she has been through, Leigh Maria Dittman focuses her energy on helping others in spite of the tough times that she is going through herself.
Leigh Marie suffers from a very rare disease, known as Osteogenesis Imperfecta. This disease causes the bones in the body to be very weak and brittle, and it also stunts the proper growth as well. Unfortunately, just a small bump or fall can lead to a broken bone with this disease, and this 10 year old has gone through many broken bones as a result of the disease. She has also gone through many surgeries to help straighten the bones in her body as well.
Since she was only three weeks old, Leah Marie has been getting the treatment for this disease from the Shriners. She has spent plenty of time in the Shriners hospital, and when she was only three years old, she had the idea to start up a new fundraising to help out other children and the Shriner hospital that had helped her through her medical problems.
For seven years now, the Leigh Dittman Foundation has been raising money. Each year there is a special fundraiser that is done to help out the hospital. The fundraisers vary, from offering raffles, live auctions, silent auctions, and more. This year, the annual fundraiser for the Leigh Dittman Foundation will be held at the India Cultural Center in Tampa on September 11th at 6:00pm. This is the 7th annual fundraiser that has been held to raise money for the Shriners hospital.
Both of her parents have been very involved in this fundraiser and have helped to push it to success as well. They are very proud of how she has taken the difficult disease that she deals with and turned it into something that is positive to help others.
With her bubbly personality and selfless outlook on life, Leigh Marie has become popular with professional athletes and local business owners, becoming a local hero and an ambassador of sorts for the Shriners hospital. Her mission is to not only help raise money, but to also help raise awareness about this hospital and what it is doing to help children.
The Shriners Hospitals for Children is a special system that focuses on improving children’s lives by offering teaching programs, innovative research, and specialty care for children. They provide care for no charge to many children who are dealing with cleft palates, cancer, spinal cord injuries, burns, and other conditions. This system has provided the care needed for Leigh Marie, and this little girl found it in her heart to want to give back to the hospital for all they have done for her.
Not only is she helping now with her fundraisers, but her goal for the future is to become a nurse so she can work in a Shriners hospital to help other children. For her charity and unselfishness, recently she won the $1,000 Kids Who Care scholarship from Kohl’s Department store.
This young girl definitely is an inspiration at how one person can make a difference. Her charity is making a huge difference, raising more than $200,000 over the past few years. We can all learn from this little hero. No matter the challenges that we may face, we can look at them in a positive way and still find a way to help others.
You can learn more about Leigh Marie Dittman and the charity foundation she has started by visiting her website: http://leighdittman.com/.