BRIDGEWATER, NJ - Three students at the Somerset County Vocational & Technical School, and part of the SkillsUSA program, are doing their part to spread awareness and fundraise for research about pulmonary fibrosis, the scarring of lung tissue.

Students Madison Hill-Glover, of Bridgewater, Alicia Clark, of Bridgewater, and Brianna Broderick, of Flemington, have joined together to perform in the community service subdivision of Skills USA, a national program where students from schools across America compete and showcase skills in an area of their choice.

According to Hill-Glover, those with pulmonary fibrosis have their breath often reduced to laborious wheezes because the scarring on their lungs stiffens the usually expandable tissue. The only cure, she said, is to have a lung donation.

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“Most have never heard of pulmonary fibrosis unless their lives have been touched personally by the disease,” she said. “Despite the fact that approximately 128,000 people in the United States have pulmonary fibrosis, citizens are still widely unaware of its presence.”

Hill-Glover said that she and her friends have decided to support the Pulmonary Fibrosis Foundation in its efforts to spread awareness about the disease.

“Raising money for this non-profit would help the charity in doing things such as increasing awareness of this disease, providing enhanced patient support and increasing research funding,” she said.

First, Hill-Glover said, they held fundraisers at the Flemington Five Guys and TGI Friday’s. As people entered to eat, they received a flyer about the event, and 15 percent of the bill at the former restaurant and 20 percent of the bill from the latter went to the foundation.

They have also gathered donations online through the website “FirstGiving,” while also selling bracelets for the cause for $1 each at the school.

“Overall, we have amassed over $1,500 in donations,” Hill-Glover said.

But the three are not yet finished, and are planning to continue collecting donations through June 23.

To continue donating, people can visit Broderick’s Firstgiving.com website, called “A Breath of Fresh Air” at http://www.firstgiving.com/fundraiser/briannabroderick/abreathoffreshhair.