WESTON, Mo. — Generous elementary students at West Platte worked hard selling lemonade and cookies over the warm weekend to raise money for a six-year-old cancer patient.
On Saturday, June 3, about 14 kids ranging from the ages of five to 10 operated a lemonade stand on Main Street in historic downtown Weston for a girl named Grace Anne as part of a Make-A-Wish Foundation project. Recently diagnosed with Stage V Wilms Tumor bilateral, Grace Anne’s wish is to go Walt Disney World in Orlando, Fla. this year.
The students running the lemonade stand set a goal of raising $500 to help make Grace Anne’s dream a reality.
“The hope is that this one event will give them what they need to afford to send her,” Jessica Larsen from the Make-A-Wish Foundation said. “This is most likely not going to be the last time we do this kind of lemonade stand. They’ve all been asking when they get to do it again so I think we’ll do one at least once a year.”
Wilms Tumor is rare cancer that affects the kidneys. In Grace Anne’s case, both of her kidneys were affected. She underwent many rounds of chemotherapy and radiation treatments and is currently responding well to doctors’ plans.
Grace Anne’s mother describes her daughter as “full of life, always smiling,” saying, “She is 100 percent sure she was supposed to have been born a Disney princess. She watches every Disney movie she can get her hands on.”
Shifts of students were coordinated to work the lemonade stand on Saturday in Weston. They sold items from noon to 4 p.m., receiving an optimal hot weather day for the operation.
“There were so many volunteers we decided to do shift changes,” Larsen said. “Between helping passing out fliers, bag cookies, and then work the actual day of so it was a good number.”
While the volunteers were not given Grace Anne’s full identity, she does live in Missouri.
“It has been amazing to see her not allow cancer to beat her down throughout her fight,” Grace Anne’s mother said. “One thing I have said throughout all of this, is that Grace ‘has’ cancer; cancer doesn’t have Grace.”
Local students involved in the lemonade stand included 10-year-old Matthew Gladstone; eight-year-olds Lily Bogart, Carter Conrad, Maizie French, Kathryn Kalic, Kayleigh McCardie, Grant Phillips and Xander Shroyer; seven-year-olds Colin Frederick, Collin Jones, Wyatt Larsen and Aubreal Vincent; six-year-olds Reid Conrad and Gabriel Shively; and five-year-olds Camden Frederick and Myla French. The family was touched by the community outreach to help Grace Anne realize one of her dreams.
“Just the thought of having her one true wish granted and seeing all of the princesses at Disney gets her giddy inside,” Grace Anne’s mother said. “Going to Disney World would mean the world to her, and definitely a memory she would never forget and one she truly deserves.”