A summer lemonade stand for these Florida preteens became more than just a fun way to pass time when they decided to raise money for their dad, who has been battling an ongoing brain condition and needs treatment.
“It makes me want to get better so I can take care of them,” their dad, Virgil Garrison III, of Cape Coral, told InsideEdition.com. “They definitely showed me they can turn lemons into lemonade.”
His wife, Lindsay Garrison, added, “Life has given us quite a bit of lemons.”
The kids, 12-year-old Hunter and 10-year-old Julia, said they initially started the lemonade stand to make money to have their ears pierced.
But when they quickly made more than enough money to cover their accessories, they decided to think of worthy ways to use the rest of their money, and they thought of their dad.
“We knew his problems and stuff and we were waiting [for him to get better], but we got sick and tired of it,” Hunter joked. “So we decided to continue the lemonade stand to raise money for him and by the time this has happened it just brought our city Cape Coral closer.”
With the addition of the GoFundMe page, Hunter and Julia’s lemonade stand raised more than $5,000.
“It’s so cool,” Julia said.
Hunter added, “I’ve never helped so much before.”
Virgil’s health issues began in 2012, after a minor injury from a car accident. Ever since then, Lindsay, who has known him for 18 years, said something has been off.
“We’ve been together longer than we haven’t,” she said. “I walked out the door one day and saw he didn’t move the same way. He was very robotic.”
Virgil also had intermittent headaches and nausea, but his blood work kept coming back normal.
“They can’t figure out what’s wrong. Every doctor said the same thing,” Virgil said. “I thought I was going crazy.”
Lindsay eventually came across information about cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) leak and believes all of its symptoms match Virgil’s.
The family now hopes they can spend the money from the lemonade stand to fund Virgil’s travels to Duke University Medical Center in North Carolina, where they hope specialists in CSF leaks can make a formal diagnosis and help Virgil receive proper treatment.
Virgil can’t fly “because the pressure hurts his head,” Hunter explained, so he intends to travel there by train.
Visit the family's GoFundMe page to learn more.