Lemonade Stand Fundraiser planned for Sunday

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Juliana manages to smile even though she is in the middle treatment for cancer. Photo provided by Cara Garcia

A Lemonade Stand Fundraiser in honor of Childhood Cancer Awareness Month will be held on Sunday from 12 to 3 p.m. at Indian Beach. Proceeds from the fundraiser will be donated to the MaxLove Project and Carsyn Neille Foundation, two local childhood cancer support organizations.

The fundraiser is being organized by Canyon Lake resident Cara Garcia. “I decided to hold the fundraiser during Childhood Cancer Awareness Month to raise awareness and to give back to organizations who continue to give support to families of children diagnosed with cancer,” said Cara.
Cara is no stranger to the dread of childhood cancer and valuable organizations such as the MaxLove Project and Carsyn Neille Foundation. In November 2015, Cara’s three-year-old daughter Juliana was diagnosed with Wilms’ Tumor following a routine wellness check-up.

Wilms’ Tumor, also referred to as Nephroblastoma, is cancer of the kidneys that typically occurs in children. Four days after being diagnosed, Juliana had her left kidney and the tumor attached to it removed. It was determined through pathology that the tumor was Stage 1 and had not spread. Following surgery, Juliana received six months of chemotherapy in order to reduce the chance of recurrence. Juliana has to have scans every three months until the age of seven to make sure her cancer hasn’t returned.

Juliana one year after the end of her cancer treatment. Photo provided by Cara Garcia

Shortly after Juliana’s diagnosis, another mother of a Wilms’ Tumor patient referred Cara to the MaxLove Project, a 501(c)(3) organization founded in 2011. Its mission is to empower families fighting childhood cancers and related life-threatening conditions with quality of life care, fierce foods, whole-body wellness resources, education and research.

The Garcias have participated in MaxLove Project cooking classes, outings to organic farms, support groups and fun events for families and kids. “Maxlove is an amazing organization. I honestly can say that I would have been completely lost in this cancer world without them,” said Cara
Through the MaxLove Project Cara met the founder of the non-profit Carsyn Neille Foundation.

The foundation’s mission is to support families affected by childhood cancer through the transformation of their interior home spaces, providing them a sanctuary and catapulting them towards healing and thriving. The Carsyn Neille Foundation kicked off Summer Lemonade Stand Fundraisers as a way for supporters to help raise funds for the organization.
Cara liked the idea of a Lemonade Stand Fundraiser for the Carsyn Neille Foundation during Childhood Cancer Awareness Month and decided to hold one in Canyon Lake. Her nine-year-old son Gavin suggested that they also raise funds for the MaxLove Project because they have done so much for their family. Cara agreed and decided to split the donations from the fundraiser between both organizations. “Both are amazing but different,” said Cara.

For more information about the MaxLove Project, visit maxloveproject.org. For more information about the Carsyn Neille Foundation, visit carsynneillefoundation.org.

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