An aspiring writer, McMurray Elementary fifth-grader Arianna Ranallo read about the story of a Peters Township boy who suffers from a life-threatening disorder and wanted to do something. Something to help, she said.
“I saw an article about Braedon Ondos and how he often goes to hospitals,” she said. “I felt really bad and I thought he was really courageous.”
Ondos, also 11, suffers from primary ciliary dyskinesia, a disorder unknown to many and one he’s suffered with since birth.
He’s brilliant and Ranallo said she recognized that.
“He is really brave,” she said.
The McMurray Star Gazette raised $130 for the PCD Foundation during the sale of its first issue—43-page issue, might I add.
“I read a book called ‘The School Story’ by Andrew Clements and the kids publish a book,” Ranallo said. “I knew I wanted to do a fundraiser; it was the perfect cause.”
She said she chose “star” because it’s the school’s symbol.
Ranallo humbly said she couldn’t have done it without her peers and Ms. Boyer, McMurray’s enrichment teacher.
“I really need to thank the staff and students,” she said. “It’s not as if I did most of the work; everyone had a huge part. The students contributed and Ms. Boyer and my mom did the printing.”
Braedon’s mom, Lori, referred to Arianna as "an amazing little girl."
“What a big heart she has,” she said. “We are so thankful for what they have done and the money they have raised for research. I look forward to meeting all of these great students who worked really hard on the newspaper.”
Ranallo told Patch the school plans to publish one—possibly two—more issues this year and three next school year.
She said she really enjoys creative writing and may study journalism in college. But for now, she’s looking at the big picture.
“I can see some other opportunities, too,” she said.
Who knows—could Arianna Ranallo be the next Arianna Huffington?