Pomona gas station raises money for worker’s child who has rare genetic disorder

A Hudson Valley gas station is raising funds to help an employee’s child who has a rare genetic disorder.

Dominique Valenti, an employee at a Shell in Pomona, has a daughter who was born with Prader-Willi syndrome. About 1 in 15,000 to 20,000 children are born with it.

Valenti says her daughter, Catalina, has trouble eating and hypotonia, or muscle weakness, as a result.

“Have delayed milestones, like have delayed walking, some have delayed talking, some don’t talk,” she says.

Valenti says Catalina is 13 months old and has progressively shown character in her growth.

“She says hi, bye, Dada, Mama, Papa…she’s crawling,” she says.

Valenti wanted to find a way to help those in her shoes, but on a broader scale.

Shell started an initiative this month called the Giving Pump. Customers who buy gas at a specially designated pump will have a portion of their purchase donated to a children’s charity.

Valenti says Shell usually raises money for Saint Jude’s Children’s Hospital, but she asked for the foundation of choice at her station to be the Foundation for Prader-Willi Research, instead.

“Helping the foundation that could help other families like my own,” Valenti says.

The Giving Pump fundraiser will run through October. Three cents of each gallon bought will be donated to charity.

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