Vanessa Noll has not forgotten what her niece Natalie Kammer did for her.
When Kammer — now a junior at Fort Atkinson High School — was younger, Noll’s dog was having some health issues. Tests needed to be done on the dog and the Noll family was stressing where the money for the tests would come from.
Noll’s niece wanted to help.
“Natalie came to me and offered me the $20 she had saved,” Noll said. “She wanted to contribute to help us. It’s just who she is.”
Noll is now doing her best to pay Kammer back.
Kammer — a standout golfer and basketball player at Fort Atkinson — was recently diagnosed with Chronic Thromboembolic Pulmonary Hypertension (CTEPH). The rare condition refers to high blood pressure in the lungs’ arteries. It is caused by blood clots and related scarring.
A fundraiser on gofundme.com was set up this weekend by Noll.
According to Noll, she’s always been very close to her sister’s daughter.
“Natalie is literally filled with happiness and positivity,” Noll said. “She is that person who’s always smiling, always so grateful for everything and has the biggest heart. She’s quite literally a bright shining light to all that know her.”
The GoFundMe page has already raised more than $35,000 as of Monday night. The goal is set at $50,000, with the ultimate objective to send Kammer to a team of specialized doctors in San Diego, California, to perform surgery. Although $50,000 is the goal, it is still unknown how expensive the surgery and the three to four week trip to California will be.
Noll called the outpouring of support from the community incredible and understands the tough situation her niece and family is in.
“No one ever wants to ask for help, it can be hard to receive” she said.
“We wanted to alleviate any stress or worry about how they would pay for things, so the focus could be on getting Natalie healthy again. The family is quite literally at a loss for words by the GoFundMe response.”
The GoFundMe page can be found by going to gofundme.com, typing in Natalie Kammer on the top-left search bar and clicking on the Let’s Rally for Natty page.