POST FALLS, Idaho — A simple neighborhood lemonade stand proved to be extremely profitable for a Post Falls family and their diabetic son.
The family brought in $3,000 by selling cups of traditional and pink lemonade, to be specific.
The lemonade, while certainly tasty, likely wasn’t the driving force behind the generosity, though. It was the story of the seven-year-old boy working the stand and pouring lemonade.
“They’re kind of, like, giving us too much money,” quietly remarked Camdyn Thompson alongside his mother Terina. “I was pouring the yellow one, and mom was pouring the pink one.”
Camdyn, although initially appearing (and later riding his bike) like any other seven-year-old, has type 1 diabetes. A small pump affixed to his arm administers insulin while a monitoring device near his hip continuously monitors his blood sugar levels.
Camdyn was diagnosed in the fall of 2016 after falling ill and becoming hospitalized. Doctors later determined he was a diabetic.
Since then, Terina says she and her husband have constantly monitored Camdyn’s blood sugar levels using a smartphone app connected to Camdyn’s monitor.
“We basically, as his parents, are his pancreas right now,” she said.
The Thompsons have since looked at getting Camdyn a diabetic alert dog that would be trained to detect when his blood sugar levels change drastically.
“A dog is more accurate,” said Terina of the service animals.
The dogs, which undergo extensive training, don’t come cheap, Terina says. She’s spoken with companies that provide service dogs ranging from $10,000 to $25,000 in cost.
To help fund the eventual purchase, the family thought of a fairly simple concept.
“What easier way than a lemonade stand?” said Terina.
For the last couple of years, the family hosted a lemonade stand in accordance with local yard sales. This year, however, Terina posted about the stand and the family’s push for a service dog to a local Facebook group.
Thompson’s post subsequently spread like online wildfire.
“Everybody shared it. And they shared it, and they shared it,” said an excited Terina.
Last Saturday, the day of the lemonade stand, the Thompsons said that the community didn’t disappoint.
“We had everybody,” Terina said. “We ran out of cups and lemonade. And it was great.”
Photos taken during the lemonade stand show several people, many of them strangers, who showed up to Camdyn’s stand to donate. Local firefighters, policeman, and a motorcycle club showed up to provide support.
By the end of the day, the family had collected $3,000 in donations.
“They overwhelmed us with support. It was heartwarming,” said Terina of the support.
She said that some people came to their Post Falls neighborhood from Spokane, some with their own personal stories of type 1 diabetes.
“It feels like we’ve been given a community hug," she said.
In addition to Saturday’s fundraiser, the family had previously collected $4,000 since Camdyn’s 2016 diagnosis. The family’s current fund for a diabetic alert dog now sits at $8,000.
“It brings tears to my eyes. It was an amazing amount of people who came to support him.”
While the Thompsons don’t have a service dog lined up yet, the family says they’ve been working with a Kansas-based company that trains the dogs. Terina says they’re currently waiting to hear back if they’ve been chosen to train with one of the dogs.