freshman Daniel Lutz recently combined two of his passions to raise awareness—helping others and swimming.
Lutz organized the ANHS “Swim for MS” pool party at the Aliso Viejo Aquatic Center to raise money for the Multiple Sclerosis Association of America. Lutz and nine other ninth grade students swam a combined total of 120 laps, raising $530.
“When I heard about the Swim for MS national campaign by the MSAA, I thought it was a great opportunity for my peers and I to help our community and have fun doing so,” Lutz said.
Lutz first organized this event last year in honor of his aunt who has been suffering the effects of MG (Myasthenia Gravis), an autoimmune disease related to MS, for many years.
His aunt was misdiagnosed and given experimental drugs, which often made her feel much worse.
“There is still no cure and not too many doctors in the U.S. are able to treat it, because there aren’t enough studies done on it in the U.S. Obviously we need more research and training on MS and related illnesses in America,” he said. “As a kid who hopes to be a doctor one day, I would love our country to be far ahead in cures for this and other debilitating diseases by the time I get to med school.”
Lutz said he is not new to the charity lifestyle. His past philanthropic endeavors include painting artwork for a charity auction, playing music for the Read O.C. Foundation during their “Share Your Music Day,” and cleaning projects along Aliso Creek. Lutz said he also held food drives out of his family’s garage for the O.C. Rescue Mission every Martin Luther King day. Don Juan Avila Middle School awarded him the Bronco Pride Service award two years in a row.
ANHS students Minsoo Kim, Cameron McCartin, Kyle Jacobs, Martin Nuwey, Aaron Canter and Capo Valley High School student Akhil Patel also participated in the event. Donations for Swim for MS are still being accepted online.
“I must thank the City of Aliso Viejo and my benefactors without whose support we could not have hoped for such the success of the event,” Lutz said. “All in all, it was a great day to raise money for the patients of Multiple Sclerosis.”