Teen embarks on fundraising mission for sick children
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MIAMI (WSVN) -- Seventeen-year-old Christina Bukata is literally a walking miracle.
"She was considered a failure-to-thrive child," said Christina's father Kurt Bukata.
At just 11 weeks old, Christina underwent three major operations at Miami Children's Hospital for congenital heart failure, a collapsed lung and severe intestinal problems.
Now a healthy teen and prepping for college, Christina is on a mission to help the hospital work miracles. "Miami Children's Hospital means the world to me," said Christina. "It saved my life, so I just want to give back to others and save everyone else's life."
Christina has embarked on her latest fundraising mission, an on-line campaign called Together for Miracles where she shares her inspirational story through a short essay, pictures and a self-produced video.
The teen is also selling her own Beat the Odds T-shirt.
Her goal is to raise $10,000 with all proceeds going to the hospital's cardiac and pediatric unit. "Children and teens like me who are miracle children are now working to raise $10,000 to benefit the children who are at the hospital now that need help," said Bukata.
This is just the latest project for Christina, who has served as an ambassador for the hospital's Children's Miracle Network, has attended telethons and fundraisers, as well as hosted her own events. "We've raised $20,000 for the Children's Miracle Network, and now we're working to raise $10,000," said Bukata.
"Christina has done many fundraisers for us throughout the years," said a hospital employee, "including a 16th birthday miracle beach bash on Pompano Beach, and she's just very committed to giving back to Miami Children's Hospital."
For the young philanthropist whose devoted her life to helping others, she's hoping this project goes above and beyond expectations, not only in terms of raising money but by inspiring those facing challenges. "You can donate. Even a penny will help," said Bukata, "and you can give back to children who need your help."
If you would like to donate to Christina's cause go to: http://www.helpmakemiracles.org/index.cfm?fuseaction=donorDrive.participant&participantID=164342
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