Williamston Teen Raises Money for Stranger Fighting Disease

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A Williamston teenager heard about a Webberville teen's health struggles and decided to do something about it.

Renee Castillo raised more than $2,000 so far to help Maddie Jo Norton. Norton has an autoimmune disease called PANDAS, which can develop from a strep infection. It causes dozens of seizures a day. Treatment costs her family thousands of dollars.

Castillo didn't know Norton but says she felt she needed to help.

"When my mom showed me the website and what she was going through, I thought I could help her out because, if I was in that position, how I would like people to help me, so I thought of the idea of raising the money for her," Castillo said.

One of Castillo's fundraisers was a competition between classrooms in Williamston Community Schools. She also asked local businesses if she could set out donation jars.

Thursday's donation to the Norton family was met with an Unsung Hero Award from Norton's father, courtesy of WilliamstonToday.com.

"What Renee did really touched us and gave us new hope," said Dan Norton. "We go back in June to see if Maddie will be in remission, or if remission has started. And what she did has really made our moods change, and I thank God for Rene."

One of Maddie Jo Norton's last treatments cost more than $14,000, because PANDAS isn't recognized by most insurers, or state insurance. Dan Norton says he is working to change that.

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