Way to go: Erin Vaughan Ware, Levittown

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Erin Vaughan Ware is heightening awareness about a rare genetic disorder, one T-shirt at a time.

The eighth-grader at Jonas E. Salk Middle School in Levittown recently raised $1,250 by selling T-shirts she designed to help fund research for tuberous sclerosis complex.

The genetic disorder causes tumors to form in many different organs -- primarily in the brain, eyes, heart, lungs, kidneys and skin. Funds will benefit the Tuberous Sclerosis Alliance.

Erin said she got the idea after she and her father observed a benefit last summer for Ally Spear, 10, of East Meadow, who is battling the disease, at Jackie Reilly's Irish Restaurant in Bethpage.

Touched by Ally's story, Erin asked her school's soccer coach, Maureen Danielo, if she could make a team T-shirt to raise money for the cause.

The navy-blue shirts -- which ultimately raised $750 -- featured a large yellow soccer ball with the slogan, "Salk soccer steps forward to cure tuberous sclerosis." Toro Pazzo Ristorante Italiano in Wantagh and the Edward T. Purcell Foundation each donated $250 after hearing that Erin fell short of her original goal of $1,000.

Salk's soccer team wore the T-shirts last month for a home game against Merrick attended by the Spears. Salk won 2-0.

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