Lincoln’s baby brother Walker was born with both a brain disease and a heart defect, mom Kami Beegle said, and was being treated at Nationwide Children’s Hospital. Walker died at 10 months old last April.
Around that time, Kami took Lincoln to a dentist’s appointment, whose office had a giant Lite Brite wall. Similar to the small, classic toy of the same name, children could play with giant acrylic pegs that light up in bright colors when stuck in a panel on the wall.
After the appointment, Lincoln told his mother, “I want one of these in baby Walker’s hospital.”
“It was completely his idea,” Kami said. “I just had to back him up.”
Kami did some research and found that such a wall cost $23,000.
“I was like, ‘How are we going to get enough money for that?’ and he said, ‘I’ll sell lemonade,’” she said.
Kami reached out to the Nationwide Children’s Hospital Foundation, and the hospital was “really excited” about the project idea, and so the family began raising money.
“They said the hardest part would be deciding where to put it,” Kami said.
Lincoln usually has between 10 and 12 different flavors for people to pick from, and his favorite part of running the stand is adding flavor shots to the drinks — and bossing around mom and dad.
In the past year, between three lemonade stands by the family, and two more by friends, the Beegles have raised almost $8,000 towards their $23,000 goal.
“I found a different kind of hope,” Kami said. “It just really just does keep me going, seeing everything and how excited he gets, through his perspective.”
Both Kami and her husband, Michael, say that watching their son at his lemonade stand inspires them, and Lincoln’s Lemonade has been a healing experience for the entire family.
“We never wanted to hide those feelings or emotions or suppress them,” Michael said. “We want to talk about his brother, and it’s a great way to actively keep his memory alive, and then hopefully forever with (the wall) at the children’s hospital.”