Ten-year-old Olivia Ohlson doesn’t just have a heart of gold; she also has the grit and determination to get things done. That’s probably why, when Olivia’s mom was diagnosed with breast cancer, the little girl jumped into action to help in any way she could.
According to ABC News, the fifth-grader out of Evanston, Ill., came up with the idea to create a lemonade stand so that she could raise money to help her mom and others just like her.
Olivia 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. “I thought that since I wanted to raise money, I could have a lemonade stand.”
Like a true businesswoman, Olivia also reached out to local bakeries, asking them to donate cookies in the shape of pink ribbons for her to sell.
Everything just sort of took off from there.
Olivia raised a whopping $4,500 with one bake sale, in addition to online donations made by family, friends and strangers. She is planning to donate her proceeds to the NorthShore Kellogg Cancer Center, where her mom, Gini Ohlson, is currently being treated.
“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.”
Gini Ohlson, 50, was diagnosed with breast cancer in both of her breasts back in March. She then underwent a double mastectomy and is currently halfway through 16 rounds of chemotherapy. Nonetheless, Ohlson stays positive, knowing that she caught the cancer early 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 is, needless to say, extremely proud of her daughter, who is her only child, and is impressed by the leadership skills that she demonstrated in her bake-sale initiative.
“She didn’t just go with the fun part,” Ohlson said. “She brought everything out, made the signs, did the display, and had friends who came and helped her during the sale as well.”
“It’s important for our breast cancer patients and their families to receive the support they need for every aspect of the cancer journey. The funds raised from Olivia’s bake sale are going to do just that,” NorthShore’s director, Dr. Bruce Brockstein, told ABC News in a statement. “My colleagues and I here at the NorthShore Kellogg Cancer Center are so appreciative of Olivia’s efforts to help our breast cancer patients. I hope that her efforts inspire others of all ages to support those who are going through cancer treatment.”