The Mary Louis Academy Spreads Christmas Cheer During Fundraiser Aimed at Finding a Cure for Hydrocephalus

Tags: Currents Catholic Education, Faith, Family, Inspiration, Media, Queens, NY, The Mary Louis Academy, Youth, Youth Ministry

Currents News Staff

The school bell rings and students make a beeline to the cafeteria. The table is set and the sugary treats attract a crowd. That’s because members of The Mary Louis Academy’s (TMLA) “Service, Learning and Leadership Program” are selling candy grams during lunch.

“We go really crazy for Christmas every year and so it’s super fun getting to do something in the Christmas spirit,” said Senior Elise Wollemborg.

And in the spirit of giving, one junior had a pretty sweet idea: donate the money to find a cure for hydrocephalus.

“We’re raising money because my younger cousin Logan has hydrocephalus,” said Madison Persichette.

Madison Persichette is the niece of the Currents News anchor, Christine Persichette, and she’s talking about her 10-year-old son Logan who was born with this condition where fluid builds up in the brain and puts pressure on it.  

For the past 10 years, her family has taken part in the Long Island walk to end hydrocephalus and Madison wanted to get her TMLA family involved too to raise money and spread awareness.

“A lot of my friends have no idea what it is,” Madison said, “and I explain to them and they’re like ‘oh I didn’t even know that’ and once they realize how serious it could be, they always want to help out which is why it’s been such a great thing here a lot of people are getting involved to help.”

It’s just one of the projects that the students in this program are sinking their teeth into.

“At the heart of it is volunteer work and learning about the issues that exist in our world,” said TMLA teacher Ellie Siwicki, “and trying to figure out a positive change that these students can make in our world and our community.”

Like when they planted grass at Rockaway Beach to help revive the ecosystem there or when they helped at the Hour Children food pantry in Astoria, Queens.

“I think everyone knows that there’s need in the community,” said Senior Olivia Zino, “but you don’t really know how much or what it looks like until you get involved.”

According to The Hydrocephalus Association, one in every 500 babies is born with this condition in the U.S., others can develop it later and every 15 minutes someone has brain surgery because of it.

The Queens students are hoping to raise about $500-dollars for the walk!