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East Cooper CAS student raises over $7,000

East Cooper CASEmma Nodine, a student at East Cooper Center for  Advanced Studies and a member of Health Occupation Students of America Future Health Professionals (HOSA), recently spearheaded a fundraising walk for Bardet-Biedl syndrome (BBS). The event in April raised $7,582.

Nodine presented this project and her research on BBS during the Capstone presentations in the CAS. Biomedical Innovation is the capstone course for the Project Lead the Way (PLTW) Biomedical Sciences program for high school students. Students design innovative solutions for the health challenges of the 21st century. They work through progressively challenging open-ended problems, addressing topics such as clinical medicine, physiology, biomedical engineering, and public health.

Students have the opportunity to work on an independent project with a mentor or advisor from a university, hospital, research institution, or the biomedical industry. A great deal of time and effort go into these projects and Nodine wanted her project to be one with a positive impact.

Nodine’s idea came about after meeting a child afflicted by BBS, which is caused by gene mutations and can affect many parts of the body. The money raised will go to research.

"I've known I wanted to do my project on Bardet-Biedl Syndrome for a while,” said Nodine. “I have always been fascinated to learn about the condition and I am very passionate about it since I have close family friends who are affected by it. I have witnessed this individual’s incredible growth and accomplishments first-hand.”

“As Emma's HOSA advisor this year, I have seen her change lives right in front of my eyes,” said Katie Parker, an instructor in the pre-medicine academy. “I knew she could accomplish anything the day I met her. When Emma first introduced me to her capstone project topic, I fell in love with it. I lent a hand in any way that I could, but Emma had everything beautifully organized including all necessary logistics. She did an outstanding job and it gives me chills knowing she is in high school making a world of difference and she still has her whole life ahead of her.”

According to Nodine, the hardest part of the fundraiser was organizing everything to prepare for the permit.

“The process is pretty lengthy and included going door-to-door to every house that would be affected by the walk to obtain signatures of permission,” said Nodine. “It all ended up being incredibly worthwhile in the end. The fundraiser also allowed me to be involved in the Health Science field outside of the classroom while being surrounded by others as passionate about the topic."

Parker added that when Nodine joined HOSA she immediately took an interest.

“This propelled her into a leadership position,” said Parker. “She has collaborated on all the club projects and drives, competed in prepared speaking on the state level, and will join us at internationals in Nashville this summer.”