Spaghetti for LAM: Fundraising Q&A with Alyssa Ciano

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Alyssa Ciano and friendsAlyssa Ciano is a high school student from Senora, California who came up with a creative way to raise money for LAM: A spaghetti dinner! Here, she shares how she became involved with The LAM Foundation, why she chose to fundraise, and what made her event successful. 

I became involved with The LAM Foundation when I was 16. Due to cysts in my lungs which popped frequently and collapsed my lungs, my doctors and I suspected that I had LAM. For months, I lived with constant anxiety that I wasn’t going to live to do the things that I wanted. I was 16 with so much ahead of me, and I feared that I wouldn’t be able to be a nurse or have kids. However, after my lung surgery at Stanford Hospital, it was found that my condition occurred idiopathically. I had no idea what LAM was until I found myself in my situation, and I don’t think that should be the case. 

[Photo: Alyssa Ciano (second from left) with friends outside of
her Spaghetti Dinner Fundraiser.]

I chose to fundraise for The LAM Foundation because I wanted to contribute to finding these women a cure. LAM is so rare and not many people know about it, so I also wanted to raise awareness. 

I came up with the idea of a spaghetti dinner because I wanted something comforting, easy, and affordable to make in bulk. My grandma and mom are also known for their homemade spaghetti sauce! Almost everything that was consumed was homemade, which attracted a lot of people and made my fundraiser successful. It became a family event, and even family friends began showing up. I also advertised as much as I could on social media and all around my school campus.

If someone is looking to fundraise for The LAM Foundation, they should include a slideshow presentation about LAM to raise awareness, advertise everywhere, and try to make the food homemade. Homemade food seems to draw people in. It’s a lot more work, but it could be fun, and everyone who attends your event will really enjoy it! 

Alyssa Ciano presenting about LAM

I’ve felt so proud of myself and others since I’ve raised money for The LAM Foundation. I feel good knowing that all of that time and effort went to a place that will help women who have a disease that not many people know about. Fundraising for The LAM Foundation was fulfilling, and I hope the money raised is able to help find a cure for LAM. 

Click here to learn more about how you can fundraise for The LAM Foundation. 

[Photo: Alyssa Ciano presents about LAM at her Spaghetti Dinner Fundraiser.]

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