Fitchburg Teen Gives up birthday gifts to give gift of sight

By: Britni McDonald Email
By: Britni McDonald Email

Posted Friday, September 20, 2013--- 5:45 p.m.

Olivia O'Dea is anything but your average teenager. At just 13-years-old she plays squash, volunteers at the Ronald McDonald house, and travels the country competing in Irish dance, even winning several awards.

But if that's not enough, for her birthday this year, instead of a party, she's throwing a fundraiser for Combat Blindness International.

"They think it's so cool that I'm so young and I do this, but I just think it's cool I can do this," said O'Dea.

Combat Blindness international is a non profit organization that funds cataract surgeries in developing countries for those who suffer from blindness, which is about 37 million people. O'Dea's been raising money for the cause since she was 9, raising a total of $625 dollars.

"You could donate a dollars and it could help, and it means the world to the people in India who are getting their eye sight back," said O'Dea.

Without knowing anyone personally who suffers from blindness, it was a just a way O'Dea says she wanted to give back..

"I feel like I have so much. I have family, my schooling, and friends," said O'Dea. "Other people should have just as much."

With a golf course she mapped out herself and set up in her own backyard, O'Dea's taken her donations to the next level and hopes to make this fundraiser an annual one.

"It's such an important sense, that if you had a chance to help a person get it back, why wouldn't you?"

O'Dea will be 14 at the end of the month. She hopes to become an ophtalmologist when she grows up.

If you weren't able to make it to her golf event, you can still help combat blindness.

The organization's set up a fund in her name (Olivia Fund).

You can donate here: www.combatblindness.org/donate


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