CMTeen Maddie Leard

Dolphin lover and CMTeen Maddie Leard is helping the CMTA raise money for CMT research.

The Charcot-Marie-Tooth Association is in the pages of PEOPLE online once again, with a story recounting a CMTeen expedition to “swim with the dolphins” at the Miami Seaquarium on March 18: Kids with Same Disease That Killed ‘Heaven or Hospital’ Girl Meet Dolphin with Scoliosis: ‘It Was Inspiring!

The kids, all of whom have CMT, frolicked with the dolphins for half an hour, petting, kissing and high-fiving them. For most of them, the highlight of the day was meeting Luna, a dolphin with scoliosis.

As Maddie Leard, 13, told PEOPLE: “It was inspiring to see a dolphin work hard to overcome a disability and try hard to jump out of the water and do the best she could.” Maddie, who had never met another person with CMT before the outing, added, “It was good to see [Luna] trying so hard and succeeding.”

CMTeen outings like the Miami Dolphin Odyssey are just one of the services the CMTA offers the teen members of its community.

Another is Camp Footprint, a free, five-day sleepaway camp for kids with CMT.

Like the dolphin outing, Camp Footprint allows kids with CMT to meet other kids who understand their daily struggles, an experience one camp parent called “lifechanging.”

Camp Footprint 2017