When life gives you lemons, CHKD is there

Published 9:39 pm Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Not being a mother, I can only imagine what a parent’s worst nightmare would be for his or her children. Thinking about all the trouble my sister and I got into as kids, I’m positive the list is long and varied.

But I can guess that finding out that your child has cancer is pretty high on that list. That’s unfortunately what many parents have to learn every year right here in Hampton Roads.

According to statistics from the Children’s Cancer and Blood Disorders Center at Children’s Hospital of the King’s Daughters, about 70 new cases of childhood cancer are diagnosed annually at the Norfolk-based center, and more than 500 childhood cancer patients are treated there every year.

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That’s a truly heartbreaking number. And without CHKD, a nonprofit hospital that is Virginia’s only freestanding, full-service pediatric hospital, many of those parents would have to uproot their lives and empty their savings just to get their children the lifesaving treatment they need.

All parents are willing to make those sacrifices, but thanks to CHKD, most Hampton Roads parents don’t have to.

CHKD offers a convenient location for patients in the area, and the facilities are designed for kids. Gone are the stark, sickly green themes of most hospitals. Instead, toys and colorful art abound. CHKD also offers a wide variety of outreach programs that aim to educate parents on their children’s health.

There are many great reasons to support this hospital, and many groups are getting out this weekend to lend their aid. LemonAid, that is.

The annual Anthem LemonAid stand fundraisers, planned this year July 20-22 at locations around Hampton Roads, provide an excellent and thirst-quenching opportunity to support everything CHKD is doing for the community.

Stands will be open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Panera on College Drive, the Farm Fresh stores on Bridge Road and North Main Street and the Walmart stores on North Main Street and College Drive. The Suffolk Elks Lodge will also sponsor a stand from 1 to 4 p.m. at 329 W. Constance Road. There will be several more stands located around the city.

If you want to do more, there is still time to sign up and register your stand. Anyone interested can set up shop at any suitable location. Some businesses, including the Walmart and Farm Fresh stores, still have slots open for groups to participate.

To view a complete list of stand locations or to book a slot for your group, visit www.anthemlemonaid.com/lemonaid/hampton-roads/index.php/locations.