By Ukee Washington

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MOORESTOWN, N.J. (CBS) — Some college students in a water polo club are getting ready to compete for a cause. They’ve banded together to help a courageous New Jersey teenager.

Kennedy Hubbard, a Moorestown High School freshman on the volleyball team, has a disease called lymphatic malformation, which changes her appearance but certainly not her inner glow.

Leanne Hubbard, Kennedy’s mother, says of her daughter, “She’s very outgoing, happy all the time. She wakes up happy, goes to bed happy. She’s well aware of how different she appears, but she just faces it every day.”

We first met Kennedy and her family in December. She was making bracelets for Kennedy’s Cause, a charity she started to raise awareness of her disease. She has raised more than $14,000 to help patients like her at Children’s Hospital of Boston.

“The bracelets can mean multiple different things,” Kennedy explained. “We say, ‘Let your inner beauty shine.’ That’s where it comes from.”

“I wish I could have half the bravery and courage she does to go out and do stuff,” said Rebecca Fordham, a family friend. Kennedy’s spirit inspired the La Salle studetn to ask her water polo coach to dive in and help Kennedy’s Cause.

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“He was like, ‘You want to have a whole tournament?’ I was like, ‘Yeah, I wanna go big!'” Rebecca said.

Ben Fallon, La Salle water polo team co-founder and coach, said, “We’ve been working together to get local teams involved, local organizations.”

Their goal this weekend is to host 16 teams and raise $3000 for Kennedy’s Cause. Kennedy will be there selling her “Shine” bracelets.

“You get to see great water polo, you get to eat food,” said Ben. “Most of all, you get the fulfillment that you’re supporting a really great cause” and a great young woman.

The first-ever Kennedy’s Cause Water Polo Tournament will be Sunday, April 15, from 9:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. at La Salle University. There is no charge to attend.

Kennedy’s Cause website:

See Natasha Brown’s December 2011 story about Kennedy’s Cause here:

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Ukee Washington