I had read in our local newspaper (the Oakville Beaver) that there was a little girl named Tamya Peralto who had been suffering from high risk stage IV neuroblastoma (cancer) since the age of 3. Her family was seeking financial assistance from the community because there was a treatment in the U.S. that was not covered by OHIP (due to its experimental nature) but had the potential to save her life. After discussing ideas with my friend Ryan, we decided to hold a Lemon-Aid stand in front of an empty grocery store at a busy intersection in Oakville, ON to raise funds towards Tamya's treatment.
With the help of some other friends, we spent a couple days selling lemonade to curious and compassionate community members. I also made a lemon sign (in the picture) that I enjoyed dancing around in to draw attention to our little stand.
In the end, we raised about $500 and were able to donate that towards the cause. Many people held events in the GTA for Tamya at the same time and enough money was raised to help her with treatments. I didn't find out about this until last year, but sadly in 2007 (age of 9) she passed away. Ouch.
About six months after our efforts, I received a beautiful hand-written note from Tamya's mom -
""I would also like to say how much we all appreciate what Becky has done for Tamya. Her thoughfulness in going beyond her school and into her community, our community, seeking to raise funds for out "little princess" Tamya brought tears to my eyes. It made us feel very comforted to know that there are still people out there who care unconditionally for others. You, becky, have done a wonderful job instilling values and morals in Tamya."
Giving back is not about recognition. However after the entire experience and then receiving the letter, it solidified the fact that that silly little Lemon-Aid stand changed my life. From that point on, I was aware of how good it feels to give back and how important it is to do so and how precious life truly is. Although I didn't realize it until a couple years later, that Lemon-Aid stand was absolutely a turning point for me.
Anyway, that is my little tale about the photo. I am so, so happy that I finally discovered it. Just as I cherish the memories, and the letter, this photo will forever remind me of why *it* all matters.
Happy Friday! Hope your weekends of full of fun!
Lots of LOVE,
-- Becky xo