A little girl's dream of raising money to help other children with cancer turned into a huge success Sunday in the Goulds when her lemonade stand raised more than $22,500.
Crowds of people flocked to St. Kevin's Junior High to treat themselves to some lemonade and take part in other activities to help four-year-old Nevaeh Denine raise money for other pediatric cancer patients.
Holly Denine says her daughter has been going through chemotherapy treatments herself for a rare form of cancer.
She said since the community organized fundraisers for her family to help lessen their burden, Nevaeh wanted to be able to do the same for other families with children in similar situations.
"Neuroblastoma is a rare type of cancer that you don't really hear too much about but it is one of the most common pediatric cancers. But there's been two other families diagnosed — same thing as Nevaeh — since her diagnosis in December, so we realize that awareness and raising some money is really, really important right now," said Denine.
"Nevaeh has had six rounds of chemo so far, and she leaves on the 24th of July to get a stem-cell transplant and a high dose of chemo. She's handled it all well so far, even with the hair loss, the nausea, the mouth sores and all that stuff, she still got through it all with a smile on her face, so it definitely makes you realize how resilient and strong kids are."
Denine said the event originally started out as a small idea, but then groups of people wanted to participate.
"It snowballed into a huge event. It's a car show, food, hula-hoopers, lizards, motorcycle clubs are here, it's just an amazing event and everybody jumped on board — everybody wanted to be a part of this," she said.
"It's a great cause and we are just so blessed and overwhelmed once again, as we were when everyone fundraised for us by all of the support that we had."
Denine added she plans to organize other fundraising events in the future, but for now will be spending time getting Nevaeh through her treatments.