A Dix Hills student who suffers from a rare nerve disorder has mounted a campaign both to increase awareness about the condition and to raise money to help others, with donations of more than $115,000.
Alexandra Tobin, 17, a senior at Half Hollow Hills High School East, has reflex sympathetic dystrophy, a nervous system disorder that causes severe chronic pain. She was diagnosed slightly more than three years ago.
Tobin has held two fundraisers online, asking for donations to benefit the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, which treated Tobin and specializes in pediatric RSD patients, she said.
There is no cure for RSD. The teenager said she keeps her pain low through exercise and monitoring her stress levels, as stress is one of the contributing factors to her pain.
"I was so shocked," Tobin said of the donations. "We had not set the bar that high."
The pledges, mostly a result of people spreading the word on social media, helped the hospital buy needed equipment and hire more physical and occupational therapists, Tobin said.
She is editor-in-chief of the high school's yearbook, president of the Nutrition Club and public relations officer for the Art Club and the National Art Honor Society.
Tobin also teaches dance to people with Down syndrome at Jam Dance & Fitness in Dix Hills.