Lemonade stand helps raise funds to fight leukemia

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By Linda Dillman
Staff Writer

Messenger photo by Linda Dillman
Part of the fundraising efforts for the family of nine-year-old Brady Martin, who is battling leukemia, include a lemonade stand at the Canal Winchester Farmer’s Market manned by Brady’s twin brother, Blake, center; their sister, Aubrey Martin, 7, left front; and friend Charlie Milliken, 10, right, who came up with the idea for the fundraiser. The children served lemonade and information to Danielle Milliken, Charlie’s mother, right on June 26.

Every little bit counts and cups of lemonade count in helping the family of a Canal Winchester nine-year-old in a battle against a form of leukemia.

While his brother, Brady Martin, undergoes treatment for acute lymphocytic leukemia in Children’s Hospital, twin Blake Martin, sister Aubrey Martin and friend Charlie Milliken staffed a Lemonade Against Leukemia stand at the city’s June 26 Farmer’s Market.

“Brady is a very playful and cheerful kid. He loves spending time with people,” said Charlie, who came up with the idea for the fundraiser. “Sadly, he can’t do that as much anymore due to him having Leukemia cancer.”

During the June 26 market, the children raised $1,245. On June 12, the first time Charlie opened the lemonade stand at the market, he raised $500.

“Charlie’s Lemonade Against Leukemia stand will be making several appearances at different locations across Canal Winchester, including Yellowood Farms on July 11, Fantasy Cupcakes, and potentially at the Farmers Market again,” said Danielle Milliken, Charlie’s mother. “I am so happy to see Charlie, Blake and Aubrey get to do something they feel is productive and helpful in what is otherwise a heartbreaking and difficult time. I think the lemonade stand is helping them process and deal with emotions and help them feel proactive and empowered to help Brady.”

First diagnosed on June 10, Brady began treatment the following day. The family spent the next four days in an intensive care unit at Nationwide Children’s Hospital before Brady was transferred to the oncology floor. The nine-year-old was later released, but because of several complications, he was readmitted to the hospital three days later.

In an online report, the Mayo Clinic said acute lymphocytic leukemia is a type of cancer of the blood and bone marrow that progresses rapidly and creates immature blood cells, rather than mature ones. While it is the most common type of cancer in children, and treatments result in a good chance for a cure, Brady is in a high-risk category because of his white blood cell count at diagnosis.

“We learned last week that along with the high risk, Brady has an extremely rare genetic mutation. The mutation was only found 64 times in the world in a span of almost 20 years,” said Kristin Martin, Brady’s mother. “While extremely rare, it has a lot of similarities to another mutation called the Philadelphia Chromosome.”

According to Kristin, because of the similarities in the mutation, doctors added an additional chemotherapy to her son’s treatment that has a high success rate with the Philadelphia mutation. Brady will need to take the additional chemotherapy daily for the next two and half years in hopes of getting rid of the mutation completely.

“So, while the rarity of his case brings the success rate down, we are confident in Brady’s oncology team and researchers guiding his care,” Kristin said.

Danielle said the community has rallied around Brady and the entire Martin family in powerful ways, from Charlie’s Lemonade Against Leukemia stand to a Go Fund Me page—Way to Battle Brady Martin— that has raised $6,175 as of July 5 with a goal of $10,000.
Family friends from Blake’s baseball team—the Central Ohio Cyclones—are selling bracelets that say, “Be brave like Brady” and his soccer team, the Pride Soccer Club, sold t-shirts and collected gift cards.

“People have been making and selling bracelets and car decals. Many have been praying, giving money, delivering meals, caring for Brady’s siblings, and so much more,” said Danielle. “It’s one of the many reasons I love living here so much. Our neighbors are truly our neighbors. We care for one another and come together during difficult times.”

Kristin said their church—C3 Church—collected money as well. Several local businesses are collecting gift cards and donations and a meal train was set up for the family.

“We have been blown away by the outpouring of love and support,” said Kristin. “So many people have stepped up to help our family through this time. We honestly could never quite put into words the gratitude we have for everyone’s generosity.”

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