Boy's lemonade stand raises funds for best friend's surgery, but there's a twist
Published Monday, January 26, 2015 12:06AM EST
When seven-year-old Quinn Callandar opened a lemonade stand in Pitt Meadows, B.C., last summer to raise money for his best friend’s surgery, he didn’t know his selfless act of love would also help a stranger in need.
Quinn and his family opened the stand last July to raise funds for his best friend, Brayden Grozdanich, who was suffering the painful effects of cerebral palsy. Brayden could go to the States for surgery to alleviate the pain, but it was a costly operation.
“I saw he was having so much pain and then my mommy and daddy told me about this surgery and I thought it would be great to raise money and help him,” says Quinn.
The lemonade stand, combined with an online fundraising campaign launched by Quinn’s mother, ended up raising $61,000 -- more than enough to cover the costs associated with the operation.
But here’s the twist: The New Jersey doctor who performed Brayden’s surgery was so inspired by the lemonade stand, he waived the fees.
So Quinn’s family put the money toward the same surgery for another needy child – who they had never met.
“The family was able to pay it forward and pay for that child’s surgery, so a three-and-a-half year-old girl was able to benefit from all the publicity and success from the lemonade stand,” said Heather Roney, Quinn’s mother.
The surgery for that girl, named Brookie, is scheduled to take place this week.
Meanwhile, Brayden’s surgery has made a world of difference. Last summer, Brayden had trouble balancing, would get tired easily and was experiencing a lot of pain.
Since the operation, he is running around, mounting stairs without holding onto a railing and raising an arm that he couldn’t lift before.
Brayden’s father Travis says the surgery was less invasive than the options available in Canada, and that the results “have been huge for him.”
Travis says his family is grateful for the support.
“It’s overwhelming what Quinn and his family and what the public did, from all across the world, really,” Travis told CTV Vancouver.
Brayden, meanwhile, says he feels “pretty awesome.”
With a report from CTV Vancouver’s Michele Brunoro