Gratitude on ice
Cheers to these cousins who sell lemonade to benefit kids at University of Minnesota Masonic Children’s Hospital
For one day each summer, 9-year-old cousins Owen Saidler and Jaden Kintzel-Rapp put their bikes and Rubik’s cubes aside to become entrepreneurs.
But they’re not doing it to fill their piggy banks—they’re raising money to benefit children at University of Minnesota Masonic Children’s Hospital.
Owen was born missing one chamber of his heart and with another heart defect called transposition of the great arteries. At 6 months, Owen had his first surgery at University of Minnesota Masonic Children’s Hospital. His most recent surgery was at age 4, when he had a pacemaker placed, with a few surgeries in between. He will likely need a heart transplant at some point, says his mom, Nicole Saidler, but for now Owen is doing great with regular monitoring from pediatric cardiologist Shanthi Sivanandam, M.D.
“Throughout all of that, we noticed that the Child-Family Life (CFL) Services specialists really have done a good job with not just the patients but with the whole family,” Nicole Saidler says.
When Owen needed a CT scan, for instance, the CFL team showed him pictures of what the machine looks like inside and out. Then they sent a doll through a miniature CT scanner so Owen could see how the process worked. Nicole Saidler also appreciated how the CFL staff coached parents on how to answer their kids’ questions about upcoming procedures and address their worries.
In gratitude, the Saidler family, along with several helpers, spends a day selling lemonade and snacks in their hometown of North Mankato, and another day hand-delivering a check to the hospital staff. This summer they raised $1,200—their new record.
“We just thought with the amount of money raised at a lemonade stand,” Nicole Saidler says, “it might not do a whole lot for research, but it will make a huge difference for the Child-Family Life Services department and all of the families that go through the hospital.”
Make your gift to Child-Family Life Services at University of Minnesota Masonic Children’s Hospital at give.umn.edu/giveto/CFL.