As breast cancer awareness month comes to a close, one proactive 10-year-old has made national headlines for her commitment to helping her mom who was recently diagnosed with the terminal illness.
Olivia Ohlson of Evanston, Illinois, wasted no time devising a plan to fundraise for her mother after she learned she had breast cancer. According to The Root, the young girl decided to hold a lemonade stand to raise money for treatments. With the help of her grandmother, she made pink lemonade and baked shortbread cookies to sell outside their home.
“I always wanted to have a lemonade sale, and when my mom got cancer, I wanted to raise funds for women like her,” Ohlson told ABC News. “I thought that since I wanted to raise money, I could have a lemonade stand.”
She then reached out to local bakeries, asking them to donate cookies shaped like pink ribbons that she could sell along with her homemade treats and lemonade.
With just one bake sale, the dedicated fifth-grader raised $4,500. She also received online donations from family, friends, and strangers who just wanted to contribute to the noble cause. She will reportedly be donating her proceeds to the NorthShore Kellogg Cancer Center where her mother is receiving treatment.
“I know my mom has lots of family and friends who take care of her, but other people don’t, so they need more support,” she said. “By giving Kellogg money, they can use it ... for patients.”
Ohlson’s mom, Gini, was diagnosed in March with cancer found in both of her breasts. She has since, however, undergone a double mastectomy and is halfway through 16 rounds of chemotherapy. She said she takes comfort in knowing she found her cancer in its early stages.
“My doctor told me that if I hadn’t had my mammogram, we wouldn’t have felt anything for a year to three years and I would have had a very different diagnosis,” she said. “That’s really given me a positive attitude.”
She also praised her daughter’s efforts, emphasizing her full dedication to the task and all of the work that went into it behind the scenes.
“She didn’t just go with the fun part,” Gini Ohlson said. “She brought everything out, made the signs, did the display, and had friends who came and helped her during the sale as well.”
Kellogg Cancer Center issued a statement to ABC News, confirming that the money Ohlson raised will be put toward furthering the work of their facility.
“It’s important for our breast cancer patients and their families to receive the support they need for every aspect of the cancer journey. The funds raised from Olivia’s bake sale are going to do just that,” NorthShore’s director, Dr. Bruce Brockstein, told ABC News in a statement. “My colleagues and I here at the NorthShore Kellogg Cancer Center are so appreciative of Olivia’s efforts to help our breast cancer patients. I hope that her efforts inspire others of all ages to support those who are going through cancer treatment.”
If kindhearted, thoughtful kids like Ohlson are the future, then there is hope for humanity after all.
Banner/Thumbnail Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons, wishuponacupcake