Two little girls are running a lemonade stand with proceeds for organ donations in memory of their late sister.
Makenzie Madsen of West Jordan, Utah died at age 14 last summer while waiting for a heart transplant. Now, her sisters are celebrating her life and memory by helping others by donating proceeds from the sweet sidewalk business to those in need of organ transplants through DonorConnect, an organization that coordinates and registers donor registries.
Sisters Myleigh Madsen, 9, and Makayla Madsen, 7, build a lemonade stand to raise awareness for organ donations to honor their late sister Makenzie. (Courtesy of Monica Madsen)
“Her little strong personality is still pushing people and helping my girls,” Monica Madsen, Makenzie’s mother, told FOX News of Makenzie inspiring her younger sisters, Myleigh Madsen, 9, and Makayla Madsen, 7 to build the lemonade stand.
Makenzie was born with congenital heart disease and at 1-year-old had to have a heart transplant, Madsen said, adding that her heart became weaker as she got older.
Madsen was taken to the hospital in 2019 when she went into heart failure and put on the heart transplant list while waiting at home. A few months later, she went into cardiac arrest at home and underwent CPR, when her kidneys also shut down, Madsen explained.
“Thankfully, they were able to bring her back, but then she ended up on both the heart and kidney transplant list where she waited almost a year in the hospital but it didn’t come in time,” Madsen said.
Growing up, Makenzie loved to bake and sell sweet treats like snow cones outside her family’s home, Monica said. Proceeds from the lemonade stand will go to DonorConnect, an organization that coordinates and registers donor registries. (Monica Madsen)
Makenzie died July 13, 2020.
The lemonade stand is a love letter to Makenzie from her sisters and family. Growing up, Makenzie loved to bake and sell sweet treats like snow cones outside her family’s home, Madsen said, so her sisters decided to carry on her passion by selling sweets like cake pops for a good cause.
“In honor of our sister Makenzie and all the donors, say yes to organ donation.’ We love you Kenzie,” a sign for the lemonade stand reads in Makenzie’s favorite color, teal.
Madsen’s daughters’ preparing cake pops for the lemonade stand. (Monica Madsen)
And the community has shown their support – Myleigh recalled to Fox News one person donating $50 for a lemonade.
“Kenzie was a huge advocate for donor awareness,” Madsen said. “It’s a way we can honor her when her anniversary comes.”