04/23/2012 11:43 am ET

Teresa Giudice Distances Herself From Other 'Housewives'

"Real Housewife of New Jersey" Teresa Giudice didn't do any press to promote Sunday night's premiere with the other ladies, but she will be making the rounds in three weeks to push her new book, "Fabulicious! Fast & Fit."

"Teresa is as smart as Bethenny. She understands that now is the right time to start distancing herself from the rest of the housewives. She has come as far as she can being on the show, and now she wants to get to the next level," a friend of Giudice tells me. "It's brilliant to let them all promote the premiere while she saves the press to sell her book. This is exactly what Bethenny did to the New York cast after Season 1."

Teresa is following perhaps the most successful "housewife," Bethenny Frankel, in launching her own drink collection and writing cookbooks. But where Teresa might make the greatest impact is in raising awareness of a rare kidney disease. She's advocating for an amazing, sweet 7-year-old boy, Mathew Levine, who is suffering from focal segmental glomerulosclerosis (FSGS), a debilitating disease that has no cure.

"We met Teresa at Eric Trump's golf event for Saint Jude's last September," Mathew's father, Michael Levine, tells me. "We went up to her with Mathew and told her his story, and she really wanted to help us. We are a small foundation that has no face and has an identity crisis. Teresa has got us more attention in a few weeks than we have got in years."

Michael says Teresa has already done a public service announcement and a press conference for the NephCure Foundation (NephCure.org) and is also planning on doing a fashion show in New Jersey with her children that she has asked NephCure to be part of.

"We watch the 'Celebrity Apprentice' as a family every Sunday, and when she made the check presentation, we were all jumping up and down with tears in our eyes," Michael says. "Teresa is an angel on Mathew's shoulders."