BRIDGEWATER, NJ - Sophomore students in the Academy of Health and Medical Sciences at the Somerset County Vocational & Technical High School are working hard to raise money for the Children’s Tumor Foundation, a foundation that supports research for neurofibromatosis, and helps families that are affected by it.

Students Ritu Peddinti, Michelle Masiello and Mira Amin began the project in October 2017.

According to Peddinti, there are three types of neurofibromatosis, but the general disorder causes tumors to grow on nerves throughout the body. CTF, she said, supports families that are affected and leads nonprofit research for the disorder.

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In 2017, the girls raised $1,000 through fundraising dinners at Chipotle, Panera, Applebee’s and California Pizza Kitchen, as well as a charity dinner at TradeWins, the school restaurant at SVCTHS. The latter fundraiser included a presentation about the disorder, and what they are doing to help research and patients.

In addition, Peddinti said, they have an online page to raise money and are selling bracelets for NF. The girls also attended an event called NF Walk, where people called NF Heroes (those who have been diagnosed and fought with NF) joined their families to share their stories and walk together.

Finally, she said, they are in contact with a director at CTF to send gift baskets to hospitalized children who are diagnosed with NF, with arts and crafts and do-it-yourself kits for the kids.

The project is part of SkillsUSA, a national competition for vocational schools that allows students to compete in competitions in their future occupational fields.

The girls are continuing to look for donations so they can help as many people as possible. Visit https://join.ctf.org/team/148991 to help.