Image credit: Chasity Sanchez/GoFundMe
When 9-year-old Angel Reyes found out his grandfather was diagnosed with cancer, he decided to do something special to help his loved one.
“I wanted to start a lemonade stand for my grandpa. He has stage T3 colon cancer. He had surgery and had a 9-inch tumor removed,” Reyes told KOMONews.com.
Richard Sanchez, 52, was diagnosed in December, and has begun six months of chemotherapy. He’s self-employed in construction, unable to work, and facing mounting medical costs. His family started a GoFundMe account back in January.
Angel decided to try to raise some money to help with expenses, so his mother and uncle helped him set up a lemonade stand in front of his home.
“I understand my grandpa has cancer,” Reyes told the Las Cruces Sun-News last week. “I talked to my mom and before Christmas we figured it out. I wanted to make money for him, a hundred, maybe $120, selling lemonade and Popsicles.”
Angel’s mother, Chasity Sanchez, said her son has always had a good heart and is always willing to help someone in need.
“He just wants to help his grandpa in any way that he can, and for a 9-year-old, this is the best idea he could think of and I’m so proud of him for doing it,” Sanchez said.
Word about Angel’s mission spread through the community.
“People have been giving us money even though they didn’t want lemonade,” Chasity said. “It’s been very, very humbling. We’re grateful.”
As of Saturday afternoon, the total raised between the GoFundMe campaign and the lemonade stand reached $21,766.
Response was so huge that Angel’s lemonade stand had to move from his yard to the parking lot of The Game II, reports Las Cruces Sun-News:
“If you build it they will come,” Sanchez said, marveling at the magic her son’s Peanuts comics replica has materialized. “The response from the community, I can’t believe this, I really can’t believe it. It doesn’t feel real, but I’m so humbled,” Sanchez said, watching as cars lined up, drive-through style.
Individual residents by the hundreds, dozens of local businesses and even city employees have joined a lemonade brigade of sorts in benefiting the youngster’s cause and initiative.
Marci Dickerson, speaking on behalf of The Game II and other local businesses, explained that the community’s response was not just about Angel’s cause being noble:
“What really motivated us to get involved was that here was a nine year old who instead of feeling sorry for himself and his family, chose to act and in the best way that he could,” Dickerson explained. “He’s giving up his time and his spring break and playing with friends and doing what 9 year olds do.”
Sanchez said Angel had a hard time when he found out about his grandfather’s cancer. But, raising money to help with medical expenses has changed the young man’s outlook on life – and has brought him and his grandfather even closer.
“I care a lot about my grandpa. I want to do anything I can to help him,” Angel said. “People have been really nice about wanting to help, too. I’ll keep doing this as long as I can, if it will help him.”
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Contributed by Lily Dane of The Daily Sheeple.
Lily Dane is a staff writer for The Daily Sheeple. Her goal is to help people to “Wake the Flock Up!”