GUILDERLAND, N.Y. (NEWS10) – A Guilderland sophomore swam across the Boston Harbor to raise money for his sister and stepfather, who are both battling a rare disease.
Michael Ardito, 15, took part in the Boston Sharkfest Swim on Saturday, September 19 to raise money and awareness for Hereditary Angioedema, or HAE.
HAE is a rare, potentially fatal disease that causes extreme and uncontrollable swelling throughout the body. Only one in 50,000 people suffer from the disease in the country.
For Ardito, his reason behind the commitment and training is one that hits close to home. His stepfather John Harrington has the disease.
“That was the main cause for fighting it last year and just the possibility that my sister Kati could have it,” he said.
In the last year, Kati has had two attacks, according to Ardito; one in her leg and one in her arm.
This will be the second straight year that Ardito will make the swim for HAE. This year, he made the swim with his mother, Nicole, and friends Jordyn Sommo, Zach Connolly and Alex Cresanti.
In 2014, he swam with his friend Luke Tanner.
Click, here, to learn more about HAE and to donate. Donations will remain open until the first week of October.