It was just a few weeks ago when a GoFundMe campaign was started to raise $3 million for the three-month-old Lucy Van Doormaal. The baby girl was diagnosed with spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) just one month after birth and her parents have asked the community for support in their efforts to get her a lifesaving drug. Since they started the campaign the donations have been pouring in with more than $2.3 million of their goal raised thus far.
One local effort that has arisen to help raise money for the cause comes from eight-year-old Xaiden Weber and his six-year-old sister Aria, who have turned their time at home in Elmira into a refreshing way to help the young baby girl. What originally started as a fun project to sell lemonade – and homegrown vegetables – turned into a fundraising effort which brought in $570 in just two hours on Sunday afternoon.
“When the kids asked to have their first lemonade stand, I asked them how they felt about making an impact on someone else’s life and truly remembering their first lemonade stand. They thought it was a great idea,” said Christine Sealey, mother of the two kids. “I showed them the video of Lucy and we were all in tears. The children had a hard time grasping her not getting to her second birthday [and] their story truly inspired us to want to help. We truly feel blessed that we are able to help out a family who is going through this challenging time [and] we couldn’t have done it without the support of friends, family and our community.”
Sealey continues to thank the community for their donations towards the cause and says by sharing the post she made on social media this was all possible.
“It’s a great way to show that no matter how large the goal is, with enough people working together anything is possible. Every bit helps,” Sealey added.
She hoped the lemonade stand would help the kids the lesson of giving back to the community and caring for others. She says it helped instil the lesson that people have many differences and functionalities while also being grateful for their own health.