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Inspirational Stories


acute myeloid leukemia (AML)

In 2016, my Mom/daughter's grandma, Baba (Judith W), was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia (AML). After her first round of chemo, she was discharged from a one-month hospital stay on my daughter's third birthday. Best birthday present ever. She continued fighting the disease with more chemo and ultimately received a stem cell transplant from an amazing donor. Amid the uncertainties of her recovery, we hosted our first lemonade stand fundraiser on Mother's Day weekend the following year in hopes of helping.

Both of our daughters (Bennett, age 10, and Georgie Belle, age 2) are now fundraising for The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS). We understand just how lucky we are that Baba is still with us, especially seeing that Baba's husband, my Dad/grandpa, passed from (bile duct) cancer one year ago. Our girls are on a mission more than ever to "squeeze the day" and make a difference.

ALL THANKS to loving family members, friends, neighbors, return customers, and new faces, Bennett and Georgie’s eighth annual Lemonade for a Leukemia Cure held on June 1, 2024, raised another $1,289 in 2024 for LLS. Our lifetime fundraising total is now at $7,000 ― so grateful!!! Every single face and donation touched our hearts, and I believe wholeheartedly that every gift creates a ripple effect of kindness and goodness that counteracts the ugliness of cancer. A little heart goes a long way.

My dad/grandpa lost his battle with bile duct cancer the same day as last year’s lemonade stand. I think this was no coincidence but planned by divine design. On the day we first learned of Mom’s blood cancer diagnosis (and given a 5% chance of survival), I recall standing in front of my Dad as he sat in the chair in his den. His lip was quivering, his eyes were bloodshot red, and we just looked at each other with weeping eyes. I had never been so sad, and neither had he. Every step of my mom’s journey was tough and emotional, and my Dad stood by his bride through it all. He slept on the hospital chair next to her throughout all her treatments. He wanted to take care of her and keep her company on those darkest days. Last year’s lemonade stand was my darkest day. The incalculable loss of losing a parent is devastating. And yet, it was on a day we were also doing something “for Mom.” He waited until we took care of her first. Dad’s focus was always on Mom.

Dad had a heart for others, and anytime we were doing something that would make him smile and make him proud, I felt close to him and knew we were doing the right thing.

Words fall short to sum up our gratitude for the gracious and loving donors who make a difference, and for the life-saving care and research that saved my mother's life.

Blond girl in purple dress holding younger girl by lemonade stand sign.