WESTPORT - One person's trash may be something one local student and her family can treasure.
Four local schools are currently collecting metal pull tabs to show their support for Molly Rascoe, a junior at Westport Central School.
This past summer, Molly was diagnosed with Wegener's granulomatosis, a rare disease that inflames blood vessels and can cause poor circulation to vital organs such as the lungs or kidneys.
In Molly's case, the disease caused her kidneys to fail. Continued treatment could put her Wegener's syndrome into remission, though, and she could become a candidate for a kidney transplant before the end of this year.
In the meantime, she travels to Fletcher Allen Hospital in Burlington, Vt., three times a week to undergo kidney dialysis, among other treatments.
Sometimes her care has required overnight stays in Burlington, not the least of which was the 10-day stretch that led to her initial diagnosis.
On such occasions, Molly's parents, Brad and Julie Rascoe, and sister, Emily, have utilized the Ronald McDonald House in Burlington, a nonprofit facility that offers lodging for family members of children receiving medical treatment.
"When Molly was in the hospital for those 10 days, we stayed over there," recalled Brad, noting how friendly volunteers there helped prepare meals and create a welcoming atmosphere.
"They just sit at the table and chat with you," he added. "They'll do anything for you; you just ask them and they'll help you out."
With the help of sponsors and donations, the Ronald McDonald House in Burlington can offer one of its 11 rooms to families at just $10 a night in a location that's convenient to both the hospital and pharmacy.
When news about the Ronald McDonald House aiding the Rascoes reached friends and co-workers, it inspired an effort to show support in a simple, yet meaningful way.