Ontario kids sell lemonade to help Newfoundland woman who had stroke

How a stroke and emergency brain surgery led to the best news of this 28-year-old woman's life

An Ontario family was so moved by the story of a Newfoundland woman who had a stroke at the age of 27, they decided to do something to help her out.

Their fundraiser — a lemonade stand — raised hundreds of dollars.

Jill Bowen and her three children were in the Atlantic Provinces on vacation when they heard the story of Carly White on CBC news.

White, who's from Carmanville, N.L., went to hospital in early August because of what she thought was a bad migraine headache.

It turned out she was having a stroke, and required emergency surgery to remove part of her brain to alleviate pressure. Doctors say the problem would likely have been fatal had she waited longer to get help.

Bowen said her kids were concerned for White, even though they have never met and the family has no connection to Newfoundland and Labrador.

"They have a fairly good idea understanding because of the work that I do," she said. "I work in acquired brain injury rehab, and have done so for the last 25 years.

"They hear and have heard over the years many sad stories similar to Carly's."

Bowen's daughter Natalie Good, who is 10 and heading to Grade 6, said she likes to have a lemonade stand at least once every summer.  

"When my mom told me about Carly's story, we thought it was sad," she said.

In the couple of hours they set up shop on their quiet London, ON street this past weekend, the children raised more than $400 with lemonade and cookie sales, along with several donations.

Bowen said even though she always encourages her children to do some good, this fundraiser left her with a special feeling.

"I teach that community service is an expectation in our family, but I am very proud of their enthusiasm, their commitment and dedication when they partake in community service."

The funds raised were deposited into a trust account set up for White.