PORTLAND -- A Portland teen is about to wrap up an impressive fundraising effort inspired by her sister, June.
“June is a really big part of my life. I love her so much,” said 17 year old Emma Watson as she wheeled her sister into the Providence Center for Medically Fragile Children.
Eight-year-old June has severe epileptic seizures which have caused brain damage. Her reaction to what’s light and bright gave Emma an idea for her high school service project.
“These are the star projectors I’m raising money for,” Emma said as she pulled the equipment from a backpack.
June has been star gazing with the projectors in her bedroom for six years.
“It calms her down at bedtime. It really transforms her whole room, putting stars all across the ceiling,” Emma said.
June’s mom credits the projector with helping her daughter.
“As a result of the stars and other therapies she can now look at you and focus,” said Tina Dawson.
There is some science behind the success with the stars.
“Vision is a use it or lose it thing. A lot of kids have vision impairment and it’s important they have something relaxing and fun to look at,” explained therapist Martina Flanigan.
Emma is raising $2,100 to put star projectors in all 21 rooms at the center.
“We have been coming here for so long for June’s appointments, these other patients are a part of my life,” said Emma.
“I’m very proud of her,” remarked the girls' mom. “June has taught Emma to be very patient and she’s had to put herself aside so much. They have a very special relationship.”
Emma set up a Facebook page for donations and is only a few hundred dollars short of her goal.
“We have enough to put the star projectors in 18 rooms,” she said. “Only three more to go.”