by Katie Kindelan via abcnews.com
When 10-year-old Olivia Ohlson learned that her mom Gini was diagnosed with breast cancer, she jumped at the chance to help. Olivia, a fifth-grader from Evanston, Illinois, made pink lemonade and baked shortbread cookies with her grandmother to sell outside the family’s home. “I always wanted to have a lemonade sale and when my mom got cancer I wanted to raise funds for women like her,” Olivia told ABC News. “I thought that since I wanted to raise money, I could have a lemonade stand.”
She also contacted local bakeries to ask that they donate cookies for her to sell in the shape of pink ribbons for breast cancer awareness.
“It was very touching,” Gretchen Vetter of Tag’s Bakery in Evanston said. “I was very moved by it so I was more than willing to help.”
Olivia has raised $4,500 through one bake sale and online donations made by family, friends and strangers. She is holding a second bake sale next weekend.
Olivia said her favorite part of the bake sale was interacting with her customers. She is donating her proceeds to Northshore Kellogg Cancer Center, where her mom, Gini Ohlson, is being treated for breast cancer.
“I know my mom has lots of family and friends who take care of her but other people don’t so they need more support,” she said. “By giving Kellogg money they can use it … for patients.”
Ohlson, 50, was diagnosed with breast cancer in both of her breasts in March. She underwent a double mastectomy in May and said she is halfway through 16 rounds of preventive chemotherapy.
Ohlson, the executive director of a nonprofit organization, may also need radiation in the future. Her early stage of breast cancer was diagnosed through her annual mammogram.
“My doctor told me that if I hadn’t had my mammogram, we wouldn’t have felt anything for a year to three years and I would have had a very different diagnosis,” she said. “That’s really given me a positive attitude.”
Ohlson described herself as “very proud” of Olivia, her only child. She said she is most impressed that Olivia did all of the hard, behind-the-scenes work that bake sales entail.