By EILEEN MCCLORY
Taylor Orwick knew she wanted to have a lemonade stand during her neighborhood’s community garage sale in the Liberty-Benton School District. She just didn’t know what it would benefit.
A few days later, her aunt, Jessica Lemus, was diagnosed with breast cancer, and Taylor decided she wanted to raise money for her aunt.
“Because when I had cancer, she helped me,” Taylor said.
Taylor, who will be 9 in July, was born with Beckwith-Wiedemann syndrome, an overgrowth disorder that comes with a higher risk of childhood cancer, according to the National Institutes of Health. She was diagnosed with kidney cancer when she was just 2 years old, and underwent chemotherapy until she was 3.
“Oh my gosh, yes, it was very scary for us,” said Taylor’s mom, Monica Orwick.
Because Monica’s doctor knew the child was at an increased risk for cancer, Taylor was screened every three months and doctors were able to catch the cancer early.
Taylor said when she had cancer, her aunt would fly in from California, where she lives, to help out. Remembering that kindness, Taylor decided she wanted to now do something for her aunt.
By 2 p.m. Saturday, she had raised about $50 and was on her second pitcher of pink lemonade. People who stopped by her parents’ garage sale often left $5 or $10 as a donation.
Taylor sold a cup of pink lemonade for 50 cents, wore pink herself and decorated her stand with pink.
Monica said her family plans to complete the local Susan G. Komen breast cancer walk this year in honor of Taylor’s aunt.
Taylor has been cancer-free since she was 3, and she’s headed to second grade at Liberty-Benton Schools next year.
“Cancer is very life-changing, but if you can rely on family and friends, it helps,” Monica said.