Students fundraising for toddler with lung disorder

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HIGHLANDS RANCH, Colo. -- They say you are never to old to learn something new. So, maybe we can all learn something from a group of Highlands Ranch middle school students and one very special toddler.

Dozens of children got a second chance to hunt Easter eggs Saturday morning during an After-Easter Egg Hunt organized by a group of eighth graders at Rocky Heights Middle School.

But it was more than just baskets and candy. It was part of a lesson plan.

The students' teacher Sharon Majetich said they had to "rent the space, get the stuff, bring it here, get it organized and get it advertised."

It wasn't just about money and management, however. It was also a life lesson.

The students worked to raise funds for 17-month-old Tash Treadwell, who suffers from a lung disorder.

Eighth-grader Lily Potarf said, "Seeing the little smile on his face and knowing that you might have helped make that adorable smile is fun to watch."

Sanjana Nandy, who also worked on the project, said, "I think the fact that we're doing something that can help someone's life so much, I think that's just great."

Tash would be just like any other toddler, except he’s limited by an oxygen cord, something he needs 24 hours a day, seven days a week because he has NEHI.

"That stands for Neuroendocrine Hyperplasia of Infancy," Beth Treadwell said -- -t’s a lung disorder that makes it very difficult to breathe.

"It’s not that it's not very common, it's that people don't know what to diagnose,” Treadwell added.

She said Tash will likely require assistance with getting oxygen until he’s about 6-years-old, so the need for a portable but expensive oxygen concentrator is great.

"Our money has started going from saving for our children's college education and retirement, into saving our child's life," said Treadwell.

Treadwell said the middle schoolers contacted her after hearing about Tash from their teacher. The lesson has since reached far beyond the classroom.

"It actually gives me chills to know how great these girls are to do that. I'm going to miss them so much when they leave," said Majetich.

They all shared the spirit of giving in hopes of raising awareness.

Sara Cave, who is also working on the project, said she'd like to do it again.

The girls tallied up the money they raised, and said they will continue their fundraising efforts through May 9.

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