“That’s just an unbelievable amount of love and support. There aren’nt even words. It’s hard to wrap your head around it," says mom Elizabeth Scott about the donations that keep pouring in.
Liza Scott is only seven years old and while most kids her age would set up a lemonade stand for some pocket money in the summer, this little girl did it to raise funds for a life-saving brain surgery. According to TODAY, Liza has three malformations in her brain that were identifed about a month ago, when Liza's mom found her gasping for air at 3 in the morning. Initially, her mother mother Elizabeth Scott, 41, thought Liza was having a nightmare, so she woke her daughter up. But as it turns out, it was a nightmare of a different kind altogether.
More such episodes occured and they determined she was having seizures. “With more testing, they determined it was not just irregular brain activity, that there was actually something more serious,” Scott explained. But, the doctors are unsure what exactly triggers her, causing seizures. “They’re not certain if the seizures come from all of them,” Scott said. “We won’t know more until we treat the vascular malformations, which are the two we can do a surgery on.”
Little Liza needs a brain surgery for the three malformations in her brain: a schizencephaly, a parietal arteriovenous malformation, and a dural arteriovenous fistula.
There are not a lot of doctors specialized to perform surgeries that Liza needs, which means that she will have to keep traveling to Boston Children’s Hospital for her surgeries. Despite having insurance, Scott will have to spend quite a bit for her medical expenses as well as travel. Liza, despite being so young, Liza noticed this, and decided she wanted to pitch in to help out. While this is inspiring, it also shows just how expensive healthcare is in the US.
“She just said she wanted to go to the bakery and start selling lemonade to help her get her surgeries,” Scott said. who works at their family-owned Savage’s Bakery in Homewood, Alabama, said. “I just said, ‘Well that’s fine. You can go set up your lemonade stand,’ not really thinking it would amount to much.” Scott built a stand for Liza where she sold a glass of lemonade for 25 cents. The mother also set up a Mighty Cause page for those who wanted to donate but didn’t have cash with them.
It seemed like Scott had spoken too soon, because she was floored by the response. “It just keeps pouring in,” Scott said. “That’s just an unbelievable amount of love and support. There aren’t even words. It’s hard to wrap your head around it.” Liza actually managed to make about $15,000 in cash from her stand at the bakery, and nearly $300,000 from the Mighty Cause page.
“We’re excited for her and we’re sharing her success with her but we also want this to be a learning opportunity to understand grace and kindness,” Scott said. “She definitely feels special.” Once Liza gets her surgery, it's going to be a long road ahead for her in recovery. “She’ll have ongoing medical care for years because she’ll have to have MRIs and angiograms, and medication for the long haul,” Scott said. “We have a long road ahead but we’re going to fight it and do what we have to do to make sure we stay well.”
Liza's first surgery is scheduled for March 8, and will stay in Boston for about two weeks. Both mom and daughter are scared about the surgery, but Scott adds that Liza forgets about it when she's busy playing sometimes. “She’d rather focus on selling lemonade or playing or just being a kid. She’s definitely nervous,” Scott said. “She would prefer not to go to Boston and not to have surgery. So that’s been hard to stomach as a mom because surgery is life-saving for her. It’s not elective.”
Some of the extra money they raised will go to Liza's expenses, but Scott wants to lend a helping hand to other families who need financial help with their child's medical care. “Liza loves to help others,” Scott said. "We would love to be able to help other families in our shoes — once we’re past the big hurdles."
Cover Image Source: Mighty Cause/Lemonade for Liza - Zest for Life w/ Brain Surgery