This summer a young girl made it her mission to support Parkinson’s research, and in doing so she raised more than $300 for the cause.
Halle Sizemore, a 7-year-old from Henagar, decided it would be a fun project to set up her own lemonade stand with her grandmother Deb Sizemore.
At first the goal was to make a few extra bucks while gaining precious memories with each other, but just a few days before the sale, Halle decided to donate the profits to a research that her Mimi, Teresa Bethune, was involved with.
“Well when we first had the idea for the lemonade stand I was going to split the money with my Grammie,” Halle said. “Then a few days later I remembered I had my Parkinson’s T-shirt and thought I would just wear that and raise the money for my Mimi. I want them to find a cure for Mimi.”
When Teresa was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease in 2011 she decided to take part in a clinical study called the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research at the University of Alabama at Birmingham Hospital.
Earlier this year in April, which is Parkinson’s Awareness Month, Teresa’s daughters, Lindsey Watkins and Candace Sizemore, designed T-shirts and were able to raise $3,235 for research.
“People have no idea how much every dollar helps. This amount will go so much farther than you would imagine,” said Dr. David Standaert, Director of the Center of Neurodegeneration, when he received the donation.
Candace, who is also Halle’s mother, said this study hasn’t been for the faint of heart. With blood work, spinal taps, physical and mental evaluations and prescription drug trials, there have been second thoughts by her family. Yet Teresa remains hopeful.
“They may not find a cure for me, but if I could just help one person in the future it will all be worth it,” she said.
On July 13, Halle raised $325 with her old-fashioned lemonade stand. She sold around five gallons of lemonade at 50 cents per cup. People from Sylvania and surrounding areas came to buy her product and employees from Farmers Telecommunications Cooperative, Sand Mountain Electric Cooperative, Glovers and other companies stopped by to show their support.
“It was a very busy and hot day,” Halle said. “I had went inside the house to take a break, and then I had to run all the way back to the road because more customers had stopped.”
Halle said it made her happy to see all the people coming to encourage her Mimi, and Candace said it makes her proud to have a daughter so kind.
“Her dad and I are beyond blessed to have such a loving little girl,” Candace said. “Her Mimi is a special person to us and Halle. There’s no way that we could ever repay her for all that she’s done for our family and I think that Halle realizes that even at 7. Every night as we put her to bed and say our prayers, she never forgets her Mimi.”