Boy with leukemia starts lemonade stand for cancer research donation money

KATY, Texas – A Katy family is helping to raise money for childhood cancer research through a lemonade stand.

Chris Wilkins set up a lemonade stand at the Pine Mill Ranch splash pad off Pine Mill Ranch Drive Friday to help collect money to support the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.

PHOTOS: Rhett with leukemia starts lemonade stand

Wilkins has a 7-year-old son named Rhett, who was diagnosed with leukemia since he was 3. Rhett is now in remission after undergoing three and a half years of chemotherapy.

“It was a long journey," Chris said. “He went through a lot of stuff. Stuff you don’t want kids to go through, you know.”

Rhett has had eight of his friends from Texas Children’s Hospital die of cancer since his diagnosis.

“He has actually learned life and death better than any adult I know,” said the father of five. “As a matter of fact, we have a picture of him standing at one of the grave sites of the friends that he lost over the 3 1/2 year period and he’s holding the flowers. Just really a touching picture,” he said.

Chris and his family wanted to do something to help other childhood cancer fighters and their families. So they started setting up lemonade stands with donations going toward childhood cancer research. 

The community has been overwhelmingly supportive.

“They really all jumped into this,” he said, “And when you see kids helping kids it really speaks volumes.”

Rhett helped to make the lemonade sold during Friday’s lemonade stand sale. It was their sixth one. To date, more than $5,000 has been raised for the cause, according to Wilkins. Enough money was made to create a grant for childhood cancer research in Rhett's name. All excess donations will go to LLS.