By Amanda Persico | Jun 13, 2012
Find a penny, pick it up. All day you’ll have good luck.
McKynlea Waters-Goodman, 10, hopes some of that good luck will rub off on her mother, Cindy Winters. Ms Winters suffers from pulmonary hypertension, a rare disease that causes high blood pressure in the pulmonary artery in the lungs. As a result, her heart beats into overdrive.
“Your arteries are supposed to be soft like (cooked) macaroni noodles,” she said. “Instead, mine are ridged like straws. So, my heart beats bigger and bigger to get blood through the straw.”
Watching her mother be permanently attached to a device that helps open her arteries through a tube to her heart, McKynlea wanted to do something to help and took to the streets. She is going door-to-door collecting pennies.
Since the federal government cancelled the production of the coin earlier this year, this Grade 5 student is collecting Pennies for PH.
Each week, McKynlea travels a different road, crescent or street and has collected more than $160.
“I want to help find a cure,” McKynlea said. “I want to give my mom a better life.”
For McKynlea, finding a cure means getting her mom back.
“She can’t do a lot of things,” she said. “On a good day, we can go to one or two stores in the mall, but there are a lot of bad days when she naps a lot.”
Even when Ms Waters is having bad day, McKynlea doesn’t slow down.
“When she is having a bad day, I still collect pennies so she can smile when I come back,” McKynlea said. “I want to see my mom happy.”
Ms Waters was diagnosed close to five years ago and was told she only had a couple of years to live unless she received a double lung transplant.
At first, doctors told her it was a heart murmur, but more tests determined it was the rare disease.
“Going door-to-door is something I should be doing. But I can’t,” Ms Waters said. “Proud is not even the word. I am beyond that. I am amazed (McKynlea) is passionate about something for me.”
The mother-daughter team dreams of a day a cure is discovered. And the first thing McKynlea wants her mother to experience is going down a waterside. Rather than sit out by the dock or only go in waist deep, Ms Waters could enjoy time with her family.
“It would be amazing if there was a cure,” Ms Waters said. “I could unhook and unplug. We could go swimming. McKynlea is missing out on what other kids can do with their mom: kid stuff.”
For more information, go to phacanada.ca