Two sisters have opened a lemonade stand to raise awareness for organ donation in honor of their older sibling who died while waiting for a heart and kidney transplant.
Makenzie Madsen of West Jordan, Utah, passed away on July 13, 2020, at age 14, after spending nearly a year in the hospital. Now, her sisters Myleigh, nine, and Makayla, seven, are keeping her memory alive with their heartwarming sidewalk business.
‘They want to open people’s eyes and hope people understand how important it is to say yes to organ donation,’ their mother Monica Madsen told Good Morning America.’
Tribute: Myleigh and Makayla Madsen of West Jordan, Utah, opened a lemonade stand in honor of their late sister Makenzie, who died while waiting for a heart and kidney transplant
Heartbreaking: Makenzie, who was born with congenital heart disease, passed away on July 13, 2020, at age 14, after spending nearly a year in the hospital
‘They don’t want other kids to feel this — if their siblings have been waiting for a transplant and they didn’t make it. That’s what they talked to me about.
Makenzie was born with congenital heart disease and had to have a heart transplant when she was 17 months old, but her heart became weaker as she got older
Monica told Fox News that her daughter went into heart failure in 2019 and was put on the heart transplant list. She went into cardiac arrest a few months later and her kidneys started to shut down.
The teen spent almost a year in the hospital waiting for a heart and kidney transplant, but the organs never came in time.
In her honor: Myleigh, nine, and Makayla, seven, also thought of their big sister when designing their sidewalk stand, which they painted teal, Makenzie’s favorite color
Fundraiser: All of the proceeds from the lemonade stand will go toward organ donation awareness. The family has raised $6,000, so far
With the one-year anniversary of Makenzie’s death approaching, Myleigh and Makayla wanted to pay tribute to her in some way.
Their lemonade stand is an ode to their big sister, who would set up a table and chair outside their home to sell the baked goods and snow cones she loved to make.
The girls’ also thought of Makenzie when designing their teal and light pink sidewalk stand, where they sell lemonade and cake pops.
‘Teal was our older sister’s favorite color,’ Myleigh explained to GMA. ‘The other stripe is pink — Makayla’s favorite colors.’
Sweet treats: Makenzie loved to bake, and the girls are also offering cake pops at their stand
Always with them: The family is getting ready to close the stand for the summer, but they plan on opening it every year, saying that’s what Makenzie would have done
‘All proceeds go to organ donation awareness in honor of our sister Makenzie and all the donors. Say yes to organ donation. We love you Kenzie,’ reads the sign that hangs on the stand.
They also have a framed photo of Makenzie right where they take orders.
The Madsens have raised approximately $6,000, so far, and will be donating all of the proceeds to DonorConnect, a nonprofit organization that assists families in the Mountain West with the organ donation process.
While the family is getting ready to close the stand for the summer, they plan on opening it every year, telling GMA that’s what Makenzie would have done.
‘We’ve just tried to keep her spirit alive,’ Monica said. ‘She’s up there cheering them on and helping them out and rallying people to go see the stand.’