WESTFORD — A group of local preschoolers are using lemonade to make a difference.
Students have rallied together to host a fundraiser for 7-year-old Kailyn Bennet, a local student battling Trichothiodystrophy.
The fundraiser is organized by Good Pickin’ Farm and the family of Bryce Bennett, a 3-year-old student at the farm’s Acres of Fun Preschool.
Helping Kailyn Bennett
Funds will benefit the Boston Children’s Hospital Immunology Research Fund, where Kailyn Bennet, a 7-year-old student from Groton receives treatment for Trichothiodystrophy.
Trichothiodystrophy is a rare inherited condition that impacts a number of areas in the body, including the immune system, according to the National Institutes of Health.
“It affects her whole body. The thing she struggles so with the most is that she’s immuno-deficient. She couldn’t clear an ear infection for a year,” Jessica Bennet, Kailyn’s mother, told WestfordCAT.
She added, “Some parts of her immune system she can get treatment for, some she can’t. That’s why we want our money to go towards the research fund.”
With her condition, Kailyn originally had a reduced life expectancy of three to six years.
“She’s [made it] beyond that now, though,” she said.
Kailyn, who is also deaf and blind, attends Perkins School for the Blind in Watertown. She has only recently returned to the classroom for the first time since 2020.
“She’s been out of school for three years because of the pandemic because of her susceptibility to germs,” Jessica Bennett said.
Fundraisers through Good Pickin’ Farm, Eversource Walk for Kids
Bennett and her family have participated in Eversource’s Walk For Kids fundraiser for seven years. This year marks their first year raising donations through a lemonade stand.
Their lemonade stand concept, Bennett says, is a step in “normalizing” life for her son Bryce.
“This sense of community starts to normalize his [Bryce’s] life because his life is abnormal,” she said.
She added, “germs are a big part of what we have to deal with. Germs are a normal part for him [Bryce] to have a normal developed life but also protect Kailyn.”
Bennett says the support from the students is “priceless.”
“I think it’s amazing. I get overwhelmed with emotions sometimes, a lot of the time we get connected to these opportunities, it’s a Kailyn connection. This is powerful because it’s a way for Bryce to shine,” she said.
In a statement to WestfordCAT, Good Pickin’ Farm’s Promotional Market Manager Sarah McCarthy says the farm is “all about supporting the community.”
“We call them our farm-ily. We’re 100% for it. It’s a good feeling,” she said.
Lemonade can be purchased at Good Pickin’ Farm from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on May 31 and June 1. The stand has raised over $126 at the time of reporting.
The family also plans to walk the Charles River Esplanade on June 11 to benefit Eversource’s Walk for Kids and Boston Children’s Hospital. The family has raised $185 of their $250 goal at the time of reporting.