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BENTONVILLE, Ark. (KNWA / KFTA) – Valerie Schwimmer, 11, shaved her head on Sunday to raise awareness and raise funds about juvenile Batten disease.

Valerie and her twin sister, Natalie Schwimmer, are best friends with twins Makenzie and Amelia Kahn. The Kahn twins suffer from Battens disease, a rare genetic disorder. Valérie wanted to show her support for her friends in an important way.

“To raise money and promote awareness of Amelia and Mackenzie,” Schwimmer said.

Schwimmer said that Amelia and Makenzie are two of the best friends.

“Ameila is really sweet, she gives the best hugs… and Makenzie loves going out, she tells the best jokes,” Schwimmer said.

Valerie’s mother, Carol Schwimmer, said she was very proud of her daughter and grateful for the support from the community.

“Valerie has done a great job of getting the word out and talking about it to people at school, at church and in the neighborhood and we’re really, really proud,” Schwimmer said.

David Kahn, father of Amelia and Mackenzie, said supporting Valerie and her family meant everything to her family.

“All I can say is I never had a friend like Valerie growing up,” Schwimmer said.

You can read more about fundraising here.