Girl uses food allergy diagnosis to spark change

PORTAGE, Mich. (NEWSCHANNEL 3) - A nine-year-old girl from Portage who suffers from life-threatening food allergies is using her diagnosis to spark change at school.

Haleigh Oso, a 3rd grader at Woodland Elementary, has such severe allergies she can't even touch a table that has a little bit of peanut butter on it.

There are at least ten other kids at her school with similarly life-threatening allergies.

So now Haleigh has her entire school rallying to raise money for FARE, a non-profit food allergy research organization.

"We do a change war every year so people bring in change, money, checks, dollars and pour them in their class bins to help food allergies to find a cure," Haleigh says.

This year her classmates donated more money than ever: more than 1,600 dollars in quarters, dimes and pennies.

The six classrooms that raised the most money got to see their teachers wear wigs for a day. The whole school got to see their principal in a wacky wig too.

Fundraisers like this, while fun for the kids, could make a huge difference in the lives of kids like Haleigh.

"Anything to help her so she can live a more normal life and not have to worry all the time would be fantastic," says Haleigh's mom, Marianne Oso. "It's amazing how much every little penny did count and it just brought all this money so that hopefully we can find a cure for food allergies."

According to FARE, 15 million Americans suffer from food allergies, meaning the potentially deadly disease affects 1 in 13 kids. That's nearly two kids in every US classroom.

If you'd like to donate to Haleigh's cause, click here.

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