Teen collects More Than $1M for Hospital Where She's a Patient

Leigh Dittman suffers a condition that can limit her mobility, but her generosity knows no bounds.

For nearly 12 years the 15-year-old has helped raise funds totaling more than $1 million for Shriners Hospitals for Children in Tampa, Fla. Along with help from her family, she organizes an annual charity event that started in her backyard and has grown so popular in the community that it has expanded to an offsite facility that can accomodate large crowds.

It’s her way of thanking the dedicated workers who have treated her for osteogenesis imperfecta (brittle bone disease) since she was 3 years old.

Dittman says they have inspired her to study orthopedic pediatrics when she goes to college. “It’s made me want to be like them,” she told Tampa Tribune. “I want to tell kids it’s OK, ‘you’re gonna get through this like me and do whatever you want to do.’”

The charity event, which was last held in the fall in 2015, draws silent-auction items from the major professional sports teams like the Buccaneers and the Rays.

A representative from the hospital called Dittman’s charitable efforts over the years “astounding.”