NORTH RIDGEVILLE, Ohio — Seven-year-old Cece Kmiecik and her sister are battling childhood cancer, one shopping trip at a time.
Cece was diagnosed with cancer in 2018 and is now part of Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation, a nonprofit that supports families affected by childhood cancer.
Her family got in touch with the foundation via email just as Cece was interested in opening a lemonade stand in their neighborhood.
“I thought, oh my god, this is absolutely perfect,” Lexy Kmiecik said. “Because you’re experiencing the struggle and the journey all the time, people are so generous to you and you receive so much and you just want to give back.”
Cece is the eldest of three, a big sister to 5-year-old Lily and 3-year-old Andrew.
In early 2018, the family raised $11,418 with their lemonade stand.
“The support we received from Alex’ Lemonade Stand Foundation has been amazing. They would constantly reach out. They will send you a starter pack with loads of signs and stickers; the organization is very supportive,” said Lexy Kmiecik.
Since September is Children’s Cancer Month, supermarket chain Aldi and Alex’s Lemonade Stand have teamed up to sell reusable shopping bags featuring children’s artwork. ALDI donates at least $1 million to the foundation.
CeCe and her sister Lily did art therapy during Cece’s treatment; when the organization presented the opportunity for Alex’s Lemonade Stand children’s artwork to be seen all over Aldi, the family immediately jumped in the creative direction. The artwork of both girls was chosen to appear on bags.
“We bought that my husband was probably going to buy the bags at the North Ridgeville store there,” said Lexy Kmiecik. “We have the bags, like sort of all over the house.”
ALDI employees across the country are also participating in the foundation’s Million Mile initiative, which is also open to the public to run, walk, and bike to raise awareness of the month of September about childhood cancer. For more information, visit The Million Mile 2021 | Alex’s Lemonade Stand Pediatric Cancer Foundation.