CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) - A Naperville teen is named one of the top 10 youth volunteers in the country.
She won because of her non-profit to help find a cure for a debilitating muscle disorder. It’s a cause close to the teen's heart.
Angie Lee comes across as your typical 17-year-old. She’s looking forward to summer break and an annual family vacation to Korea. But she's so much more than your average teen.
Lee has spinal muscular atrophy, which is a genetic disorder that causes debilitating and often fatal muscle weakness.
“Living with SMA means basically you need help with everything. Every aspect of daily life and I get the question, what's it like to not live a normal life, I guess? Quite often. But, I always say, to me this is a normal life,” Lee said.
In second grade, along with her best friend, Lee wanted to make a difference for kids just like her.
“She and I had this small goal of raising 200 dollars in pennies,” Lee said.
That turned into 9-thousand dollars and every year, with every fundraiser, the amount grows.
So much so that through their non-profit called ‘Angie's Hope,’ they've raised 200-thousand dollars.
“We found out that amount of money can fund one full year of research for a cure spinal muscular atrophy, so we're really excited about that,” Lee said.
When her high school told her about the prudential spirit of community award, she gave it a shot.
She won for the state and then was named one of the top 10 youth volunteers in the country.
‘Angie's Hope’ received 5-thousand dollars to help fund research for a cure.
Lee’s other hope that this platform will help raise awareness, but not just for people who have SMA.
“Disabled people are still incredibly able. Yes, we do receive a lot of help, but we're also capable of giving other people help,” Lee said.
Lee finishes up her junior year in high school this week. It should be noted that all of the money she won with the prudential national award, she donated to her non-profit to find a cure for SMA.
MORE INFO: Angie's Hope