CORMACK — Five-year-old Craig Bishop doesn’t remember being sick at 18 months old, but when he was old enough to be told about his illness, he also learned about Ronald McDonald House.
Craig became very interested in Ronald McDonald House and believes families need to be close together when dealing with a medical issue. So Craig, who as a baby was diagnosed with hemolytic-uremic syndrome, a disease characterized by hemolytic anemia and in most cases caused by ingesting E.coli, decided he wanted to do something to help out.
“He was dumfounded when we said that sometimes mommies and daddies cannot stay with their children when they’re sick,” said his mom, Vicki O’Leary. “So he said he wanted to do something to help.”
Craig opened a lemonade stand last year at the local flea market. He said he makes his lemonade from real lemons, sugar and water and sells it for as much as people want to donate. He also sold slices of banana bread made by his mom, and someone in the community donated homemade cinnamon buns.
“It’s good to help people, that’s what I want to do,” said Craig. “It’s fun and everyone gets thirsty.”
Last year Craig raised almost $350, which will be added to this year’s still unknown total. In fact, his family hopes to be able to donate a total of $500 to Ronald McDonald House for Craig’s two years of lemonade stands.
Craig is very fortunate and has been perfectly healthy since recovering from his illness. He lives on a dairy farm in Cormack with his family and said he hopes his donation will help other children who are sick, as well as their families.
In the past few years, lemonade stands have become more than just a way for kids to make some extra quarters in the summer. Recently charities serving the homeless, cancer research, heart and stroke research and pediatric cardiac research across North America have set up lemonade stands as a fundraising effort.